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.
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
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.
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
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.
Green Lane, PA
Check the mud flats for shorebirds and also a good spot for a chance of Hudsonian Godwit.
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