Over wintering birds above rim
9 Mar 2018, 2:45 PM,
#1
Over wintering birds above rim
Mormon Lake.  A few Northern Harriers were present over winter.  Great Blue Herons (number in the teens) were also present all winter in the SE part of lake.  I wonder what they survived on.

Ashurst Lake.  A Clark's Grebe was there all winter; I wonder if it can fly.  Mid-winter I saw the yellow bill (Clark's Grebe) but I couldn't see the eye separate from the black.  Eventually I looked in Sibley and for non-breeding plumage, some faded black comes down to eye.  Now the bird is in breeding plumage with orange bill and black cap completely separate from the eye.  Least Sandpipers were still about 15 in January, but dropped to 3 in February and were 3 on Mar 8.  On 8th they were in the SE at the end of a mostly dirt spit.  Jason was looking in their direction, but the sun was against him. Others may be overlooking them too.
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9 Mar 2018, 3:07 PM,
#2
RE: Over wintering birds above rim
I think I was distracted by all the nuisance Killdeer swarming at my feet! It is amazing that any Least Sandpipers survived the winter, although it sounds like the storms in February might have taken a toll. It looks like good shorebird conditions setting up for Spring, and there sure won't be many options for stopover spots unless we get a surge of precipitation in the next few weeks.

Jason
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9 Mar 2018, 4:19 PM,
#3
RE: Over wintering birds above rim
I saw a pair of Kildeer copulating on Feb 16, so some may be incubating already.  Could be why they were underfoot.
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