Rhode Island Photo Highlights

Last week, I took a little trip to the lovely New England state of Rhode Island. Anytime I visit the Atlantic Coast, I am always impressed by the bounty of birds available, even during days with little migration. Possibly my favorite aspect about that part of the country is the near guarantee of finding a lot of shorebirds. We don’t get large numbers of shorebirds in Buffalo, and I always enjoy an opportunity to observe a group of birds I have little experience with. I was joined by my friend Mel for a few birding adventures, and she took me to some great local Rhode Island hotspots.

American Oystercatchers and a juvenile Black Skimmer - (photo by Steve Brenner)

American Oystercatchers and a juvenile Black Skimmer at Napatree Point, RI  (Photo by Steve Brenner)

This was my first time in Rhode Island, so naturally the goal of the trip was to establish a formidable new state list. This made the trip a real blast for me, because even a Black-capped Chickadee provides for a little extra excitement during a dry spell. We were even able to take a trip to Block Island, about an hour ferry ride away from the mainland.

Government shut-down lighthouse at Block Island NWR

Government shut-down lighthouse at Block Island NWR

This was a great day trip, because not only did seawatching on the island provide a chance to pick up state Red-throated Loon and Great Cormorant, but the ferry ride itself was like a mini pelagic trip. We were able to spot Great Shearwater and Cory’s Shearwaters from the ship, but unlike the chartered pelagics, no one is stopping the ride for you to get a closer look at birds. Clearly I just need to commandeer an ocean going vessel to provide sustained looks for Mel’s lifer shearwaters.


After a couple of days of birding, we didn’t turn up any insane rarities, but it was a blast nonetheless. Mel and I had very productive mornings at Napatree Point, a location about as far west on Rhode Island as one can get. Below are some of my favorite pictures of shorebirds from my time in Rhode Island.