Features Image: Semipalmated Plover in breeding plumage.
This past week I joined the Elkhorn Slough research biologists and a couple of volunteers to complete the Spring Waterbird Monitoring, also known as Snapshot Day. There is a total of four snaphots of the slough throughout the year, and this was the second one this year. The purpose of these surveys is to record the migrant birds as they move though the area, as well as to census the resident waterbirds. During the snapshot we identified all species of waterbirds and counted the number of individuals of each species. The survey areas included three walk-in sites (Parson’s Overlook, Jetty Road/North Harbor, and North Marsh), and the main channel which was done by boat. All sites included estuaries and mudflats.
The site that I helped with was North Marsh, which was very familiar to me as it is one of my survey sites. The protocol was also very similar to the surveys I am currently conducting with the shorebirds. I saw a lot of the shorebirds I have been identifying, as well as beautiful ducks all in their breeding plumage. It was great to spend time with expert birders and people who are passionate about the outdoors and wildlife.