Jul 15 - South Beach, MA

I spent the afternoon and evening of July 15th birding South Beach, Chatham, MA. This is the premier shorebird location in New England and, arguably, all of the northeast US.

I took the 11:30am shuttle from Outermost Harbor to the beach. High tide was around 3:30pm, and the shuttles stop running at 4:30pm, so walking all the way back was the only way to catch the best shorebirding. I ended up leaving the roosts around 6:15pm and getting back to the car by 8pm.

Here are my shorebird estimates:

275 Black-bellied Plover (mostly basic/first-summer birds)
200 Semipalmated Plover
15 Piping Plover (several juv)
6 American Oystercatcher (adults)
2 Spotted Sandpiper
35 Greater Yellowlegs
125 “Eastern” Willet (two young juv, otherwise all adults)
8 “Western” Willet
1 Lesser Yellowlegs
3 Whimbrel
25 Hudsonian Godwit (highest count of birds in view at one time, but I
suspect there were more around)
13 Ruddy Turnstone
110 Red Knot (two flagged adults; viewed with Mass Audubon's Mo Correll)
40 Sanderling
1100 Semipalmated Sandpiper
3 Western Sandpiper
550 Least Sandpiper
2 White-rumped Sandpiper
1 Pectoral Sandpiper
4 Dunlin (one alternate, 3 basic-plumaged)
1600 Short-billed Dowitchers (at least 30 hendersoni)

Short-billed Dowitchers (griseus at left, hendersoni at right)

Hudsonian Godwits

"Western" Willet. The Willets were particularly interesting to study. I hope to make a Willet-centric blog post soon.


poor photo of a flagged Red Knot

two roosting Western Sandpipers

- NB


  1. Ahh..some nice sightings! We were there a few weeks ago..looks like a few more birds have made it there.

    Going to get a BwBTC outing together end of August. Not sure where yet..but prob. CT,RI or MA.
    let me know if you are interested.


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