August

The fall migrants are on the move. Shorebirds arrive, feed and head south throughout the month – there is always the possibility of a rarity, such as the 2001 Pacific Golden-Plover. Any sod farm, shoreline or water impoundments are good bets. By the second week our eastern wood warblers begin to show up, and a place like Higbee Beach is good in the early morning. Some surprisingly good flights can occur during this month, especially if a cold front has just passed. Mid to late August is a good time for the rare Curlew Sandpiper. Nighthawks begin migrating around the 3rd week in August. On the coast you can find willets, terns and oystercatchers.



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    Bombay Hook NWR, DE

    From mid August on check the fields on either side of the entrance road to the refuge for Upland Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper and American Golden Plover. Stilt Sandpipers can be found in the impoundments and there is always the chance of a Ruff or Wilson’s Phalarope.
    Bombay Hook webpage
    eBird Hotspot

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    Johnson Sod Farm, NJ

    A wonderful shorebird migrant spot (mid August thru mid September) with Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and American Golden Plover amongst the Killdeer and Black-bellied Plovers. There is always a good chance of finding a Upland Sandpiper from the beginning of August on, and later a Baird’s Sandpiper.
    eBird Hotspot

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    John Heinz NWR “Tinicum”, PA

    Check the mudflats for shorebirds. Amongst the Least and Semi’s, look for Pectoral, Western and Stilt Sandpipers.
    John Heinz NWR webpage
    eBird Hotspot

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    Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge “The Meadows”

    Can be good for shorebirds in August and is a good place to compare Short-billed to Long-billed Dowitchers as well as look for Stilt Sandpipers and maybe a rarity.
    eBird Hotspot

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    Green Lane, PA

    Check the mud flats for shorebirds and also a good spot for a chance of Hudsonian Godwit.
    eBird Hotspot

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    Pelagic Birding

    Really good in the later part of the month far offshore. This is a good time to find Arctic Tern, Shearwaters, including Audubon’s as well as the chance for a White-faced Storm Petrel plus Jaegers including Long-tailed. Trips can be found heading out from North Jersey and Lewes DE.

All images © A & J Binns

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