Today is a busy day at Colonel Sam Smith Park. The spring bird festival is on, so there are various easy-ups around the park with all kinds of information about the birds to be seen in the park. It is also the final day of the annual Whimbrel Watch, in which birders gather to count the migrating whimbrels, or Hudsonion curlews. I arrived early, before 8:00 AM to meet up with Miles Hearn’s Saturday morning nature walk group. Here are some photos from our morning.
One of the people involved with the Whimbrel Watch gave us a short talk about these birds and their migration patterns. Each evening they are in touch with other Whibrel watchers down in Virginia and South Carolina. They are given a number representing the number of birds that took off heading north, and each day they hope to match that number of birds flying through. We saw some whimbrels as tiny dots near the horizon. Closer, we saw a group of sanderlings and dunlins fly over. One day this last week they counted over 700 birds in one flock.