Black-tailed Godwit – Chincoteague NWR

We struck out on the Lapwing and moved on to Salem, NJ.  There had been a Crested Caracara in the area most of the winter.  It had been feeding on carrion in the Featherbed Lane, across Auburn-Sharptown Road area.  Rick and I spent a few hours cruising the roads in the area,  We didn’t see the Caracara, so off we went in seach of the nearest Comfort Inn.  I needed a good nights sleep, lots of miles of driving had taken their toll.

Once we’d had some dinner and returned to our room, I checked the ABA Rare Bird Reports.  I found that a Black-tailed  Godwit was being seen in Virginia.

It had been spotted in the Chincoteague NWR ( National Wildlife Refuge), on Chincoteague Island.  This was another 3 hours south of us.  We had a hard decision to make:  drive in search of the Caracara and bird Cape May the next day or go for the Godwit.  The Godwit was a lifebird for Rick and I.  The Caracara was a life bird for Rick.  We had a lengthy debate and then decided to sleep on it.

When the wakeup call came at 6am, We both decided the Godwit was worth the drive.  We could also search for a Caracara that was seen in Delaware in the afternoon.

We drove straight to the spot, 187 miles, pulled into the parking area and saw the birders, scopes and cameras.  Bird #637 was in the books.

The 2nd photo shows the bird in breeding plumage, taken in Iceland.  We also found 3 Piping Plovers on the beach and I managed to get a flight shot (inset), the small raptors were constantly harassing the shorebirds.

The Godwit was a bit further out than I would have liked for a great photo but with the number of people who were enjoying this bird and those still to come.  A distant photo served the purpose.







Ciao for now…..

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