Red-necked Phalarope on Dune Road, Hampton Bays



I had a conversation with Peter Polshek this morning about birds we've being seeing and, of course, birds we hope to see. At some point in the conversation I said, "I'd like to find a Red-necked Phalarope today" while reminiscing of last year's Mecox bird.

I had plans to meet friend Bruce Horwith and his brother Michael, who was in from Colorado, for a morning of birding in the Dune Road area. We started off at Road K. The tide was low and still receding and the flats were well exposed. Many usual suspects were in sight like Dunlin, Piping Plover, Black-bellied Plover and my first of season Willets. Moving on to Shinnecock Inlet, where we saw hundreds of mixed scoters stacked along the shoreline, some in flight, occupying much of the offshore action.

Red-necked Phalarope at Road L, Shinnecock - iScoped
with Meostar S2 Spotting Scope & Meopix Adapter
We doubled back to Dune Road and noted some nice flats exposed on the bay side across from Road L. We scoped across to the distant flats but it took some time to figure out that there was Red-necked Phalarope, tucked in close some 30 feet from us feeding along the shore's edge! I guess this morning's wishful thinking worked out well! The Red-necked Phalarope fed actively and was undeterred by our presence. It was a beautiful female in full-on breeding plumage. I watched the bird pluck out what looked to be the larval stage of an American Eel, possibly a elver eel or "glass eel."It was quite a mouthful but the bird was able to force the hefty meal down its throat. What a great end to a fantastic weekend of birding.
Red-necked Phalarope at Road L, Shinnecock eating what appears to be
an elver eel- iScoped with Meostar S2 Spotting Scope & Meopix Adapter
Red-necked Phalarope at Road L, Shinnecock - iScoped
With Meostar S2 Spotting Scope & Meopix Adapter

Red-necked Phalarope at Road L, Shinnecock - iScoped
With Meostar S2 Spotting Scope & Meopix Adapter
Red-necked Phalarope at Road L, Shinnecock - iScoped with Meostar S2 Spotting Scope & Meopix Adapter









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