I decided to go birding at Jones Beach, West End, this morning. The sky was overcast which made for perfect viewing. I began my loop trek along the East Side of Jones Inlet. Hundreds of Northern Gannets were plunge diving inside the inlet making for excellent, detailed viewing. Common and Red-throated Loons were beneath the feeding frenzy. I headed south along the jetty in hopes to see a Purple Sandpiper. Knowing that there was a decent ESE swell, I figured my chances of viewing a purple would be along the protected inlet side of the jetty. As I continued south, I noticed an approximately 30 individual flock of shorebirds burst off the jetty, regroup in the air, and land within the inside of the rocks. I knew they had to be purples. I've seen plenty of Red Knots foraging and roosting along jetties but these guys landed in low and deep, right along the water edge. I was still several hundred yards from the birds but my scope immediately picked up on a group of Purple Sandpipers picking along the inside of the jetty. Through the years I've noticed that Purple Sandpipers are not very shy. They do have a comfort zone but this group was fairly approachable. I counted 19 individuals and they allowed for some great digiscoping. The photographs and videos were taken with my iPhone, manually held against my Vortex Razor HD spotting scope. Pardon the poor video quality, for some reason the pixelation is poor on blog spot. For more, clear videos please click on my Flickr link along the right side of the page.
|Purple Sandpiper-Jones Inlet Derek Rogers|
|Red-throated Loon Derek Rogers|
|Mixed Shorebird Flock (Dunlin, Black-bellied Plover, Sanderling)|