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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Marsh Wren, American Pipit and an Assortment of Shorebirds

[Lake St. Clair Metropark, MI. May 2012]

An interesting assortment of species were observed at Lake St. Clair Metropark:
  1. Marsh Wren
  2. American Pipit
  3. Dunlin
  4. Least Sandpiper
  5. Semi-palmated Sandpiper
  6. Semi-palmated Plover
  7. Forster's Tern
  8. Caspian Tern 
The Marsh Wren is a 4" dynamo that is highly vocal but seldom seen. Widely ranging from coast to coast, it is intermediate in size between the Winter Wren and House Wren.

If you've seen the Western subspecies (below -- seen at Baylands Nature Preserve, Palo Alto in March):

.. you'll notice that the Western is a paler version of the Eastern subspecies; however, while the visual differences are subtle, the biggest difference is in their song. In fact, for this reason alone, this species could be a candidate for a future split.

While classified as "Least Concern", Eastern populations of this species are in decline while those on the West Coast are increasing.

The change in habitat from the marsh to the shore of Lake St. Clair results in a different assortment of species.

A sparrow-like buffy bird is seen foraging on the ground. However, this bird belongs to the family of Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae).

The American Pipit (aka buff-bellied pipit) is one of only two Pipits found in the US (excluding Eurasian species seen in Alaskan territorial extremities)

Shorebirds observed included Dunlin in striking breeding plumage.

Smaller peeps present were Semi-palmated Sandpiper:

As well as Least Sandpiper:

On the plover front, other than the noisy and permanently paranoid Killdeer, a lone Semi-palmated Plover was found feeding with the small group of sandpipers.

On the tern front, Forster's:

As well as the much larger Caspian's:

.. were both observed.

A wren of the wetlands and a possible candidate of a future split (Marsh Wren), an American representative of an overwhelmingly Eurasian family (American Pipit) add to the interesting birdscape at Lake St. Clair Metropark in late May.

1 comment:

Bob Pelkey said...

Another entertaining series. Your "favorites" in the slideshow are well worth the time as well. That is one strange looking character in the Ceylon Frogmouth.