Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Snow Bunting on Tybee

I went out to the North Beach on Tybee this morning at high tide, to scout a little for the shorebird survey, hoping to beat the rain. It was overcast and there were lots of birds on the beach - 41 American Oystercatchers, hundreds of Black Skimmers, and lots of small flocks of shorebirds resting at high tide. I had found 14 Purple Sandpipers, as well as Ruddy Turnstones, Western Sandpipers, Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitchers and Black-bellied Plovers. I walked over to check out another small flock that had about 30 Semipalmated Plovers, as well as Dunlins and Western Sandpipers when I spotted a small bird that wasn't a plover. I was thrilled to find this winter plumage snow bunting hanging out on the beach. It hopped about on the beach, flew with the flock a couple of times, and landed back on the beach.
I watched it for about 15 minutes. Finally, it flew off alone in the direction of the dunes and I was not able to relocate it. I thought it might have gone up to the pond area so I checked that area but no luck. Hopefully, with all the eyes here for the Shorebird Survey and the GOS meeting, we'll be able to find the bird again.
We'll look again when we are doing the survey at high tide tomorrow morning.
Just as I got off the beach, the first raindrops were falling.
Diana Churchill


  1. Hi Diana,

    This is Maureen -- my boyfriend, Nick, and I met you at the recent CBC compilation dinner. We were sitting with Pat Metz. I found the link to your blog via the ABA rare bird alert. What a great find! Do you know if the Snow Bunting has been spotted since then? Also, just to let you know, Nick and I also have a birding blog: One of our most recent posts is actually about the lovely Brown Creeper we spotted here in Whitemarsh.

    Hope all is well! Happy Birding!