Monday, July 30, 2007

Fledglings, Peregrine, Western S.P., and Juvenile Least Sandpiper at the Meadows

Extreme humidity and rumbling thunder didn't dissuade CMBO's Monday morning Cape May meadows walk.

Many Least Tern chicks remain within the colony at the meadows (a.k.a. TNC's Cape May Migratory Refuge), with their parents. Some of these are still downy and flightless, especially those east of the east path, which is the place to go if you want to watch chicks being fed and learning to fly. All the tern chicks beg incessantly - after each feeding you can almost hear the adults mutter, 'I can't believe this kid eats so much!"

While we were watching the terns and gulls by the Plover Pond, a Peregrine Falcon put all to flight and proceeded to fly south out over the bay and out of sight in the distant sea fog, apparently headed to Delaware. It was too far and too fast to assess age or race. It's also completely possible that this bird will fly back over to the meadows tomorrow, they do that now and then!

My favorite bird of the day was a juvenile Least Sandpiper, bright and shiny with upperpart feathers edged in orange-rufous. This was the second juvenile shorebird I've seen this "fall," the first being yesterday's Lesser Yellowlegs. A Black-bellied Plover, heard as a flyby before the walk, was another first of fall for me. A Western Sandpiper, quite white-headed as they often are this time of year, fed in the impoundment east of the east path (the path with the tower along it). This is where most of the shorebirds are.

Today's complete list follows.

Location: South Cape May Meadows
Observation date: 7/30/07
Notes: CMBO's Monday morning walk
Number of species: 59
Canada Goose 50
Mute Swan 2
Mallard 10 a family group was feeding on rye seeds along path
Northern Bobwhite 1
Brown Pelican 1
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 10
Green Heron 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 3
Glossy Ibis 35 flyovers all
Osprey 3 2 perched together on the nest platform
Cooper's Hawk 1 almost certainly from the state park nest
Peregrine Falcon 1 flew over, flushed everything from the plover ponds, headed south over the bay and disappeared
Black-bellied Plover 1 heard before walk, first one in NJ this "fall" for me
Semipalmated Plover 10
Piping Plover 2
Killdeer 5
American Oystercatcher 3
Greater Yellowlegs 5
Lesser Yellowlegs 10
Solitary Sandpiper 1
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Sanderling 30
Semipalmated Sandpiper 20
Western Sandpiper 1
Least Sandpiper 40 Included the first juvenile of fall for me
Pectoral Sandpiper 4
Stilt Sandpiper 1
Short-billed Dowitcher 10
Laughing Gull 30
Ring-billed Gull 20
Herring Gull 20
Great Black-backed Gull 30
Royal Tern 1
Common Tern 20
Forster's Tern 5
Least Tern 60
Black Skimmer 10
Rock Pigeon 1
Mourning Dove 5
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
American Crow 2
Purple Martin 20
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 5
Barn Swallow 10
American Robin 5
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
Cedar Waxwing 5
Yellow Warbler 5 all flybys
Common Yellowthroat 3
Song Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 1
Indigo Bunting 5 all flybys
Red-winged Blackbird 15
Common Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
House Finch 5
House Sparrow 5
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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