This past Sunday (6/27) Blair Nikula reported a Red-necked Stint from South Beach in Chatham, Mass, one of my ultra-favorite birding spots. Click HERE to view my post of one of my trips here from last summer (kind of an odd title). I found the post the moment I got home (of course) so I had to wait 3 long days until I could go after the bird. Finally, Wednesday night I was able to tell James Orrico about it. We left at about 8 Thursday morning, en route to Cape Cod.
Once there, we boarded the shuttle to take us out to the beach. On the way out two beautiful breeding plumaged Common Loons gave great looks.
After the quick ride, we started the long walk down South Beach. At the beginning, the only shorbs we were seeing were the resident: Willets, American Oystercatchers and Piping Plovers. It was like this for much of the walk. This is only to be expected, as it is just the beginning of shorebird migration and because of that there are far fewer birds using the beach.
As we neared our target we ran into Stuart Walker who told us the bird was definitely there. Yes!! We walked as fast a we good down to the “lagoon.” Sadly, once there we noticed a dead Greater Shearwater, seen out in the water on the BAYside a few days ago.
After a little time with the poor shearwater, we got to work scanning the shorbs. Another birder came by and put us on it. RED-NECKED STINT!!! That great, victorious feeling was upon us and we spent a lot of time with the bird getting fantastic scope views. It then flew off but we were joined by David Ely and Davis Noble and together we relocated the bird. This time it was foraging. We watched it nervously foraging as it quickly moved through the water back to land and through the water again. Finally, it stopped in one spot for a while.
What stood out most about this bird was how beautiful and how easy to pick out from the other peeps it was. That orange throat, golden back, and wide superciliam flashed like a beacon. Soon it began to move closer and closer and closer. I zoomed my camera on it and a recurring problem recurred. It didn’t work. My grandfather and I started discussing how to fix it when the whole group including the beautiful stint took off. My great chance at some decent shots was gone.
Couldn’t we just relocate it?? We could, but unfortunately we had a boat to catch. So I started to walk up the beach with 3 shots to show for it. Luckily, although they’re definitely no nears good, you can surely tell it’s a Red-necked Stint. What’s more, I decided this is the last time I’m gonna let this happen. I plan on giving Canon a call but if that doesn’t do it, I’m afraid I’ll have to use the warranty on it.
Besides the camera, my scope views were fantastic and I was able to spend time enjoying the bird. During the pelagic I took 700+ photos and really didn’t get to enjoy the birds “myself.” Today I did just that and I’m very happy about it. Here are my only shots:
An awesome bird, definitely one of the most exciting birding experiences of the year.