Monday, 9 June 2014

Eurasian Whimbrel - A Jinx Broken

My first Newfoundland Eurasian Whimbrel was one in late May 1980 flying out to an island in L'Anse-aux-Meadows harbour.  I could see it feeding on the island for some time but it was too far away to enjoy. My next Eurasian Whimbrel was some 20 years later. It was late July at Long Beach on the Cape Race road. It was among a good size flock of brown rumped Whimbrel. Nice, but our attention was diverted by the three species of jaeger, a Laughing Gull, a Franklin's Gull and a swarm of shearwaters feeding on spawning capelin in the cove.  A few years ago in early May John Wells and I found a Whimbrel on the beach at Renews. Anticipating a great view of Eurasian Whimbrel it turned out to be the first spring record of a brown rumped North American Whimbrel for Newfoundland.  It was just part of my general bad luck for seeing Euro Whimbrels which are relatively regular in Newfoundland.

It took five tries over three days to finally connect with the Eurasian Whimbrel that Dave Brown found at Cape Spear on 4 June. It turned into an hour long leisurely observation. Just what the doctor ordered. Got to see and photograph the white rump as it preened. Took notice of the general pale edged wing coverts and scapulars, pale undertone base of the body compared to the North American Whimbrel. The bill also seemed unusually long for even adult Whimbrels that arrive in Newfoundland in early July (just over three weeks from now!).

Here are some photos of the bird taken on 9 June 2014 at Cape Spear, Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland








1 comment:

  1. Bruce: Your Whimbrel photos are really good. Congrats!

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