Chaplin Field Trip – July 23, 2016

Dale Hjertaas – Trip Leader

In spite of the potential for rain in forecast, 9 people went on this full day tour of Chaplin and Reed lakes.

Due to rain the night before, we were unable to take the shorebird centre’s tour on the dykes at Chaplin, though we did visit the Centre. The dykes become too muddy after a rain. However, we did visit roadside points at Chaplin, Reed, and Francis lakes as well as Uren Marsh. Except for a couple very brief showers the rain held off. Participants were fun to be with and many of the birds stayed still long enough to be observed through scopes, giving some good views.

Photos by Ingrid Alesich (click on photo for larger view)

Chaplin 23 July 16 Avocet Chaplin 23 July sanderlings Chaplin 23 July Reed Lake sunset Chaplin 23 July Marbled godwits avocets Chaplin 23 July stilts Chaplin 23 July 232a Chaplin 23 July 209a Chaplin 23 July 126a Chaplin 23 July 110a Chaplin 23 July 040a












We had hoped this trip would provide an opportunity to see some shorebirds, both fall migrants and some flocks of prairie breeders gathering after breeding. We had some success with this objective, observing 21 species of shorebirds. In total 67 species of birds were observed.

Table 1 shows the species and numbers which I recorded. Note that the number of ducks is relatively low. There were significantly more ducks and coots visible on Chaplin, but by the time we finished identifying shore birds, the ducks had mostly moved well out onto the lake, so most stayed unidentified and uncounted!





Highlights of the trip included:

 A Long-billed Curlew that flew by the Reed Lake viewing tower as we stood on it;

 A Black-crowned Night Heron at Francis Lake;

 Black-necked Stilts;

 Clack-bellied, American Golden and Semipalmated plovers;

 Flocks of Long-billed Dowitchers and American Avocets;

 Flocks of Lark Buntings by Reed Lake; and

 A Loggerhead Shrike. Unfortunately Paule and I found this bird at Uren Marsh about 5 minutes after people headed for home.






Table 1: Species Observed on Field Trip

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 18

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 11

Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) 21

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 55

Canvasback (Aythya valisineria) 45

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 1

Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) 56

Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) 77

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 1

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1

Gadwall (Anas strepera) 9

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) 14

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 1

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 1

Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) 3

American Coot (Fulica americana) 819

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) 5

American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) 120

Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) 1

American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica) 1

Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) 11

Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) 1

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) 4

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) 3

Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) 3

Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) 1

Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) 32

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) 1

Stilt Sandpiper (Calidris himantopus) 1

Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) 1

Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) 1

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) 9

Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) 340

Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor) 67

Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan) 70

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 5

California Gull (Larus californicus) 3

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 1

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 4

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 4

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) 2

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 7

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) 1

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 4

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 18

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) 10

Sanderling (Calidris alba) 90

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) 1

Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) 1

Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) 4

Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) 26

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 2

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) 1

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 2

Sprague’s Pipit 3

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 1

Baird’s Sparrow 2

Chipping Sparrow 1

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) 1

Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) 150

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 12

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) 7

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) 10

Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 13

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 2

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 63


-submitted by Dale Hjertaas