2015-10-15 / Nature

Along the Atlantic Flyway


Black-bellied plovers, which nest high in the Arctic on dry tundra ridges, are journeying to their wintering grounds along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the U.S., the Gulf Coast of Mexico, and in Latin America. Waves at Sachuest Beach churned up a vast amount of marine invertebrates, which the hungry migrants fed on as they danced with the incoming waves. Black-bellied plovers, which nest high in the Arctic on dry tundra ridges, are journeying to their wintering grounds along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the U.S., the Gulf Coast of Mexico, and in Latin America. Waves at Sachuest Beach churned up a vast amount of marine invertebrates, which the hungry migrants fed on as they danced with the incoming waves. Fall migration along the Atlantic Flyway is still very active, and each day brings new sights to local birders. Recent storms across the region have aided species in their endeavors to move south toward their wintering grounds. Many unique shorebird species have passed through Aquidneck Island's beaches and rocky coastlines. The upcoming weekend will signal the last big push of birds through the area, with dawdlers and strays to follow.




This large shorebird, known as a whimbrel, is related to curlews and godwits, and is moving south from its breeding grounds in northern Canada and Alaska, to its wintering grounds on the southern Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the U.S., as well as Mexico, Central America and South America. This species is very shy and prefers to forage for aquatic invertebrates and insects away from human beings. However this migration season has witnessed multiple sightings from the Brenton Point State Park coastline and adjacent fields. Others have been reported in island wetlands and farm fields. This large shorebird, known as a whimbrel, is related to curlews and godwits, and is moving south from its breeding grounds in northern Canada and Alaska, to its wintering grounds on the southern Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the U.S., as well as Mexico, Central America and South America. This species is very shy and prefers to forage for aquatic invertebrates and insects away from human beings. However this migration season has witnessed multiple sightings from the Brenton Point State Park coastline and adjacent fields. Others have been reported in island wetlands and farm fields.

This young shorebird, known as a dunlin, was hatched this past summer at the species' nesting grounds in northern Canada or coastal Alaska. It was resting and foraging in tidal pools along the rocky stretches of Brenton Point. Most likely separated from its flock by a storm, this species has an innate migration instinct that will guide it to its wintering grounds in the southern U.S., Mexico and beyond. Once known as the red-backed sandpiper, this breed uses its long bill to probe in mud and sand for invertebrates. This young shorebird, known as a dunlin, was hatched this past summer at the species' nesting grounds in northern Canada or coastal Alaska. It was resting and foraging in tidal pools along the rocky stretches of Brenton Point. Most likely separated from its flock by a storm, this species has an innate migration instinct that will guide it to its wintering grounds in the southern U.S., Mexico and beyond. Once known as the red-backed sandpiper, this breed uses its long bill to probe in mud and sand for invertebrates.

Jack Kelly, a native Newporter, is a wildlife photographer and nature enthusiast who enjoys sharing his experiences with others. Jack Kelly, a native Newporter, is a wildlife photographer and nature enthusiast who enjoys sharing his experiences with others.

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