Saturday, July 7, 2012

I gotta do it !!!! July shorebird mega season is upon us!!!

This will be the 3rd year in a row that I post something about this topic........ And it's worth it every time...

July is primo season for cosmic rare shorebirds... And you hardly have to waste anytime searching through common riff-raff to find them (since there are hardly any moving at this point)...

Here's what I'm saying:

Mega rarities (such as European Species) spend a few weeks in the Canadian arctic trying to find a breeding partner... And guess what? They don't find any, since they're mega rare and all alone... SO what to do? Migrate south early!

Here's the facts:

Aug 1 – 1948 – Wandering Tattler – Windmill Point, Niagara
July 2-21, 1960 – American Oystercatcher-  Windmill Point, Rainy river?
July 11-15, 1960 Wandering Tattler – Windmill Point, Niagara
July 25, 1976 – Spotted Redshank  - Niagara
July 19-24, 1990 – Spotted Redshank – Cassleman
July 25, 1992 – Little Stint – Casselman
July 31-Aug1 – 1997 – “Palaearctic” Dunlin - Hamilton
 July 31, 2008 – Little Stint -  Townsend Sewage Lagoons – my record, not accepted by the OBRC though!

There's also the Little Stint record from James Bay ---- July 7th I think?? Can't find it in my notes right now, and I'm too lazy to look it up

Curlew Sand – 6 of 8 fall records for Michigan in July
July 11, 16, 20, 20, 29. 30

There is also a pile of RUFF records from late June and July... (Kentucky and I found one Aug 2 a few years ago)...... 

(theee bird)

And just to bring the point home, take a look at what has already shown up in North America this July:

Spotted Redshank in Oregon: 

Little Stint in Rhode Island:

Red-necked Stint in Kansas:

Not to mention a couple of Ruff's in NY .... 


And lets be honest... July shorebirding can be boring as heck..... You have very low odds of finding some fun uncommon species like Buff-breasted Sand, Long-billed Dowitcher, Western Sand, etc - to keep yourself entertained in the process... But if you're really keen (or stupid... or doing a big year)... hitting up those shorebird spots in July just might pay off...

And hey, being out in the field is the only way to increase your chances of finding something mega... (like that recent Frigatebird)... Or maybe something like this:

Little egret currently near Montreal... Photo from here: 


  1. Great Post. You almost make me want to put down my butterfly/dragonfly net and go tour some sewage lagoons...almost.

    John Miles had a Broad-billed Sandpiper on sandusk creek in Haldimand County once upon a time..not sure of the date(summer/fall), and doubt OBRC accepted it but don't know.

  2. Another Ruff seen today, this time across the lake at Point Mouillee

  3. July shorebirding can be fantastic, can't it. We actually get mega numbers of adults of some species here along the northeast US coast, so we often do have to search through the common ones. BUT that's not usually til the second half of the month.

    This year the shorebirding around here has gotten off to the great start you pointed out as far as rarities go, but also greater numbers and diversity in more common species than is typical. I'm usually not this into shorebirding til the 15th or so, but this year things really got going before the first of the month!