As someone who likes to saunter and sit along shores, I was pleased to learn via Oceana that tomorrow, Sept. 6th, has been declared World Shorebirds Day, a celebration which includes a global shorebird count. The group that created the day was founded by a Hungarian bird conservationist named Gyorgy Szimuly, and the website can be found here.
Shorebirds, like people, often congregate on beaches to feed in the sand on their way north or south and sometimes stay to nest. On Lake Michigan shores are spotted a variety of migrating shorebirds, including various sandpipers, the Sanderling, Semipalmated Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, and the Dunlin. The rare Piping Plover can now be found in Wisconsin only on an isolated spit of land included in the Apostle Island National Lakeshore in Lake Superior.
This is the very first World Shorebird Day and the very first “shorebird of the year” is the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, a “critically endangered” bird we in North America are not ever likely to see.
I’ll try to get to Lake Michigan tomorrow to see the shore and its birds, perhaps spy some sanderlings heading for the Gulf of Mexico. I won’t be counting, but I’ll be sauntering and celebrating.