Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Juvenile Bonaparte's Gull and Wilson'sPhalarope (but not in Cape May)

Wilson's Storm-petrels went undetected from the 7:30 a.m.Cape May-Lewes Ferry trip this morning, but a different Wilson's was waiting at Bombay Hook NWR in Delaware - that being a male/winter Wilson's Phalarope. Floating next to it, in fact feeding very much like it come to think of it, was a juvenile gull that stopped me for a moment. After rewinding some mental tape as to the difference between juv. Sabine's and Bonaparte's Gulls, I and a birder from Salisbury MD concluded it was indeed the more common, but still unusually early, Bonaparte's.

Things are looking good for CMBO's Shorebird Workshop Wednesday and Thursday. Besides the phalarope, dowitchers are plentiful down here, including at least 5 adult Long-billed amidst the many Short-billed. This means it's time to look for Long-billeds in Cape May, or up at Brig. The bulk of Long-billed Dowitcher migration in the mid-Atlantic comes much later, but the first adults begin trickling through in late July.

Other highlights today included the many Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, a dozen or more Stilt Sandpipers, quite a number of Western Sandpipers amidst the Semis and Leasts, both Yellowlegs, Black Tern, Bald Eagles, Blue Grosbeaks, Northern Bobwhites. . . not all shorebirds, it's true, but good stuff nonetheless.

No comments: