I am almost certain that I refound the Ruff this morning on the far
west end of Lake Byllesby (pretty much at the end of what you would
consider the lake) The wind was out of this world crazy and the birds
were very spooky (more on that later) but I had a couple good looks
from about 300 yards and a quick look from 150 yards with a scope.
Since it is a life bird, I wanted a better look so I moved up to the
tree line and slowly moved toward a point with some trees that would
give me a nice natural blind and a good look from about 50 yards.
When I got to the spot I stopped to jot a few quick notes and then as
I started setting up my scope a Peregrine stooped in and the birds
scattered. I waited another 20 minutes but only a small handful of
semipalmated plovers reappeared. I scoped the rest of the lake and
checked over by the hwy 56 bridge and from the boat ramp (Goodhue
side) but found very few shorebirds and nothing like the group that
had been there.
The water was much, much higher than a few days ago and I have the bad
feeling that the mudflats will be gone within a few days.
I had a Sibley and "The Shorebird Guide" with me at the time. I
consulted them after the bird left and when compared with my memory
and my notes I was pretty confident. I have since checked a bunch of
photos on the web, my Nat Geo guide, and Pete Dunne's Field Guide
companion and they help my confidence.
I hope it stayed around and was just hidden but I saw a couple large
groups of shorebirds leave the area after the Peregrine attack so I am
not sure it did.
Also seen (these numbers are estimates since I spent most of my time
checking out the Ruff)
Marbled Godwit -1
Dunlin - 30
Least Sandpiper - 200+
Semipalmated Plover - 50+
Baird's Sandpiper - 10
Killdeer - 4
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