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Jordan Lake Waders & Shorebirds #2

With more experience under my belt, and spoiled by the extensive mudflats present last year, I was really looking forward to the fall 2016 piedmont mudflat shorebird season. Less-than-ideally low lake levels made for less-than-ideal conditions for shorebirds, but generally good conditions for an assortment of wading birds.


The lake stayed above 216 feet until mid-August, then steadily dropped until mid-September to a low point of 214.5. That's about 2 feet below normal, and although it was no comparison to 2015’s low point of 212.5 feet, sizeable mudflats nonetheless eventually developed in the New Hope and Morgan Creek areas of the lake.

The shorebirds were unremarkable (7 species, compared to last year’s 14 and next year's 20), but the wading birds were plentiful in the shallows and more than made up for the lack of shorebirds. Highlights included: 2 WOOD STORK that I found (i.e., I was the first one to discover/report them, although 4 individuals were later seen by other birders. They were last seen on Jordan Lake in 2011.); 6 immature Little Blue Heron (found); an immature BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (found; last seen on Jordan Lake in 2007); and an immature White Ibis (found). The ducks were unimpressive; a pair of Northern Shoveler were the only migrants.



  • I made 8 total trips, most of which were by kayak, including: 3 to Overcup Creek (Lystra Road bridge) late August and early September, scoping from land (this location develops mudflats earlier than the rest of the lake, but they aren’t particularly productive); 3 kayak trips to New Hope Creek in early/mid-September; 1 kayak trip to Northeast Creek (751 bridge) mid-September; and 1 kayak trip to Morgan Creek mid-September.

  • 7 species of shorebirds, 7 species of waders, and 3 species of ducks/geese (pretty low numbers all around)

  • Lake dropping to 214.5 (not very low)

Species Lists (1st number: number of occasions seen; 2nd number: max number of individuals):


  • Semipalmated Plover 1/2

  • Killdeer 8/39

  • Least Sandpiper 5/14

  • Pectoral Sandpiper 1/16

  • Spotted Sandpiper 5/4

  • Solitary Sandpiper 3/2

  • Lesser Yellowlegs 2/3


  • Wood Stork 3/3

  • Great Blue Heron 6/11

  • Great Egret 7/52

  • Little Blue Heron 1/6

  • Green Heron 1/1

  • Black-crowned Night-Heron 1/1

  • White Ibis 1/1


  • Canada Goose 3/7

  • Northern Shoveler 2/2

  • Mallard 2/6


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