My original plan for yesterday was to drive down to Cape Cod to finish up my Bio Blitz. There was a big thunderstorm forecasted to hit where I live at 2, and I thought I could avoid it by going to the Cape.
When I had finally reached the beach I was planning to go to, I received an alert that made me want to turn around immediately. A Terek Sandpiper had been seen at Napatree Point in Rhode Island! This bird was so rare that it had only been reported three other times in the mainland United States. After looking in some tidepools at the beach for about half an hour, I eventually decided to go and test my luck with the sandpiper.
The entire way down to Napatree Point, I was constantly getting updates about the location of the sandpiper. But, unfortunately, when I arrived, it hadn’t been seen for a few hours. This obviously made me worry that this two-hour drive had been for nothing, but I still decided to give it a shot.
The walk to the lagoon where it had been seen earlier that day was pretty uneventful. All I saw were the very common Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls, along with a few Piping Plovers that were nesting in the dunes. Some of the highlights of the walkout there included watching the plovers feeding near the water, and seeing three Glossy Ibises flying overhead out of the lagoon.
As I reached where the sandpiper had been seen a few hours earlier, I was greeted by about 25 people with scopes, cameras, and binoculars, eager for the bird to return. After waiting around for a few minutes, I decided to take a walk around the lagoon and try to relocate the sandpiper myself. Unfortunately for me, the trail that I decided to take was partially flooded, and the water filled up my shoes almost instantly.
As I reached the other side of the beach, I noticed a small flock of Spotted Sandpipers feeding in the rocks. I knew that the Terek Sandpiper could look kind of like a Spotted from a distance, so I set up my scope and began to look around. Almost instantly I saw something that looked off. A bird that had its back turned against me turned around and I suddenly saw its large, upturned bill, the Terek Sandpiper! I had finally found it, I quickly grabbed my camera and rushed over towards the bird but it flew away right as I was about to take a picture.
I was ecstatic that I had finally found this incredibly rare bird and happily began walking back to the car. I did realize though, that this meant the end of the Bio Blitz for me, and I wasn’t able to win it as I had hoped. Although this trip had some serious downsides, I still think it was worth it to see that incredible bird.