Notes From The Field/Ellis Lake-West Chester Wetlands

With Kathy and Ethan out for the evening yesterday, I thought instead of sitting around the house with nothing to do, wouldn’t it be a great idea to go birding. So I did. So it was back to my new favorite spot for shore and wading birds. The flooded corn field adjacent to Ellis Lake. As I pulled up to park I certainly wasn’t expecting this kind of flooded field.

The morning rain has turned this field into a small lake. We may have to give it a name if it doesn’t dry up. The farmer who owns this property may never get any crops in here this year at this pace.

As I set up my scope another birder pulled up and we struck up a conversation. Well it turns out it’s someone whose name I recognize from him posting on Well we hit it off right away and decided to do some birding together. He was waiting for a friend to show up, but in the mean time we started to walk the paved path that runs along the field.

The flooded field was so full of wading birds it was incredible. I’ve not seen such numbers in a long time. Eventually the other birder showed up and we had a wonderful time birding along the path. We’d stop and bird in one location, then move onto the next further down the path. We passed some birders as they were returning to their cars and they told us about some Dowitchers further up. We were able to get our scopes on them and determined that there were both Short-billed & Long-billed Dowitchers.

The reddish-brown one on the right is a Long-billed Dowitcher. The one on the left appears to be a Short-billed Dowitcher.

Lesser Yellowlegs in the foreground and to the left and Long-billed Dowitchers behind.

A pair of Lesser Yellowlegs.

However the real treat for the night was when we sighted a Sora. And not just a glance of it before it ducks back into the grass. We were probably 10 feet away when it walked out from behind a clump of grass right off the paved path. They’re so small it was almost over looked. As soon as I pointed it out to my other 2 companions, we decided to wait him out. We creeped closer in hopes to getting a better look, and for myself a picture. And we did.

We birded for about 2 hours and headed back to our vehicles before it got too dark. All and all a very good night. Notable birds include:

  1. Short-billed Dowitcher
  2. Long-billed Dowitcher
  3. Pectoral Sandpiper
  4. Solitary Sandpiper
  5. Spotted Sandpiper
  6. Least Sandpiper
  7. Greater Yellowleg
  8. Lesser Yellowleg
  9. Great Egret
  10. Great Blue Heron
  11. Green Heron
  12. Sora
  13. Caspian Tern
  14. Ring-billed Gull
  15. Killdeer
  16. Barn Swallow
  17. Tree Swallow
  18. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  19. Bank Swallow
  20. Yellow Warbler
  21. White-crowned Sparrow
  22. White-throated Sparrow
  23. Northern Cardinal
  24. Indigo Bunting
  25. Red-winged Blackbird
  26. Canada Goose
  27. American Black Duck
  28. Wood Duck
  29. Pied-billed Grebe
  30. Mallard

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