Searching for Shorebirds in Northwest Ohio

I went searching for shorebirds while I was in northwest Ohio over the weekend.

Rob Ripma

While I was traveling in northwest Ohio this weekend, I was able to escape from meetings for a morning to do some birding with a friend. Since the shorebird habitat near my home hasn’t been very productive, we decided to focus on seeing if we could find some quality habitat and shorebirds up there.

I always enjoy watching Ospreys!

I always enjoy watching Ospreys! (Photo not taken this weekend)

We’d had gotten a tip from some  locals about an area where water had been drawn down and there were mudflats that were exposed. We weren’t really sure what to expect but as we drove up, we knew that we had found an awesome spot! Before we were even out of the car, we could tell that there were a couple hundred shorebirds feeding on the mudflats.

Our first bird wasn’t a shorebird but a beautiful Osprey perched up in a dead tree over the mudflats. As we got our spotting scopes set up and started to scan the mudflats, we quickly called out many species of shorebirds. I almost immediately found several Stilt Sandpipers mixed in with a group of Short-billed Dowitchers. Over the next 45 minutes, we found a total of 12 species including, 2 Wilson’s Phalaropes and about 275 Semipalmated Sandpipers!

There were several Lesser Yellowlegs mixed in with many more Great Yellowlegs.

There were several Lesser Yellowlegs mixed in with many more Great Yellowlegs. (Photo not taken this weekend)

We had expected to find Semipalmated Plovers but we were starting to think we might not find any after being at the location for about 20 minutes. I finally found about 6 individuals way out on the mudflat.

We had expected to find Semipalmated Plovers but we were starting to think we might not find any after being at the location for about 20 minutes. I finally found about 6 individuals way out on the mudflat. (Photo not take this weekend)

As we were getting in the car to leave, I noticed a couple of small birds moving through the marsh on the other side of the road. It turned out to be two Sedge Wrens, which is the species that I wrote about in my last blog post!

Have you been out looking for shorebirds recently?

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