Monday, November 7, 2011

Waders at San Juan

An excellent morning at San juan, with plenty of migrant waders about. The three main ponds by the entrance road were all partially drained, and full of waders, the first time I've seen them like this. Flocks of Lesser Sandplovers, Rufous-necked Stints, Greenshank  and Marsh Sandpipers were interspersed with smaller numbers of Greater Sandplovers, Kentish Plovers, Little Ringed Plovers, Common Sandpipers, Wood Sandpipers and Long-toed Stints. There were plenty of herons too, Grey Heron, Little Egret and Great White Egret.

The ponds to the south of the main house had their usual flocks of Black-winged Stilt (200+), with large numbers of Pacific Golden Plovers, as well as more Greenshank and Marsh Sandpipers. A lone Garganey shuttled between the groups of waders. A Great Knot appeared in one of my photographs from this area, though I didn't spot it at the time!

Part of my reason for visiting today was to try an locate some winter ducks, so this single Garganey was a little disappointing, maybe later in the season will be better.

The Philippine Ducks were in their usual place, and all the usual San Juan birds were visible, with the exception of Savannah Nightjar, the second year in a row I've failed to find them here. Also absent were any Brahminy Kite, odd that. An interesting record was a solitary Green Imperial Pigeon, my first sighting here. A Whimbrel was in the mangroves, an unusual spot.

A large proportion of my photographs seem to be of birds in flight. This is due to a combination of long views over the ponds (on-the-ground shots are from long distance), and poor cover meaning the birds are easily flushed when I try to get close.

A mixed flock of Rufous-necked Stint and Lesser Sandplover. Also in this group were 2 Long-toed Stints and a few Kentish Plovers and Little Ringed Plovers
 Marsh Sandpipers (with a couple of Greenshank)
Pacific Golden Plover
 Green Imperial Pigeon, my first at this site
The by now standard in-flight view of Philippine Duck
A single Garganey in a flock of Black-winged Stilts
... now on its own...
... and finally with a flock of Greenshank
When I downloaded the pictures onto my computer I found this bird which had been with one of the flocks of Black-winged Stilts I'd photographed. A Great Knot that had completely slipped my notice while actually there!

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