This weekend I had the feeling that I should finally check out Pine Run, a small pond east of Peace Valley that attracts shorebirds. Monday morning, on the way to work, I stopped by and found a juvenile American Golden Plover and a few other shorebirds. When I got to work, I saw on the Pennsylvania birding email list that a Red-necked Phalarope (12th record for the county) was seen there all weekend. Ouch! I would have spent more time looking there if I had known it was there. Apparently it was seen later in the day yesterday as well.
This morning, on my way to work, I spent an hour scanning the mudflats and didn't see the phalarope. The plover was still there, as were 29 Pectoral Sandpipers, 3 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 8 Least Sandpipers, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, 24 Killdeer, and 2 Spotted Sandpipers. One of the Semisands looked suspiciously like a juv. Red-necked Stint, but got away in the early morning light before I could get the best look. Sometimes, birds get away.
I didn't check the very northernmost part of the lake because it was muddy and obscured by trees--if the bird is being seen up there, I'll have to go back and risk the mud.
There are some great grassy areas above the pond, with lots of sparrows. Walking through it, I couldn't help but wonder if it might be a good place for a Northern Wheatear to show up. I look forward to getting to know the place much better.
Great Gray Owl in Keene, New York
3 hours ago