The spring gathering of the North Dakota Birding SocietyÂ took placeÂ last weekend in Devil’s Lake. I had not planned on attending but a meeting of the state bird records committee was called so I felt obligated and spent Friday evening up there. Saturday morning I stuck around for a couple hours and viewed what was previously reported as “hundreds of ruddy turnstones.”
These long-distance migrating shorebirds were scattered along the shore (rocks) right along a road for about a half mile on both sides. IÂ didn’t bother counting them but took this photo of a small group before heading home:
The rest of the birders showed up there later and spent some time counting and estimating the number of turnstones. They came up with 4,300, quite a large group for North Dakota. And the most recent (1999) data IÂ could find puts the entire North American flock at 267,000 birds. That makes this most recent Devil’s Lake gathering at 1.6 percent of the them. PrettyÂ impressive for a mid-continent location IÂ would think.