Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fifth times a......nother strike out!

Well, I am beginning to believe that Baird's sandpiper has been removed from my program. I have tried and tried and have still yet to see this bird. Or, there is the possibility that, as a good friend says about not being able to hear the high pitched birds anymore; it's all a conspiracy against me!

Anyway, the birding was pretty good at the Cape May point State Park this morning. As I've already stated the Baird's was a no show. In fact there were over all lower number of shorebirds period. Still a decent diversity, I had 11 species in my quick walk around the park.

One nice sight was a group of Royal terns sitting on the beach with a mix of Forster's and Common's. Also a hand full of imm. mixed in with adult Laughing gulls. There were a good number terns a gulls over the ocean headed in the direction of the rips. No jaegers were seen by me but it's getting time to be looking for these pirates chasing the gulls and terns around. I remember one day when I was counting hawks here, it was a rainy day so we were sea watching from the covered pavilion, and we had somewhere between 9 and 11 Parasitic jaegers in the area of the rips at one time.

This morning I had to pay special attention to a "dark" tern making a bee line for the rips. While my first impression was that the bird was Black tern the way the bird was flying did not fit my search image for Black tern in flight. What I soon came to realize, once the bird had arrived at the area at which it was wishing to look for food, was that I was watching a Black tern that was in, evidently, determined flight mode. I can't think of a time I have seen Black tern flying with such strength to its wing beats. Usually they have such loopy, loose wing beats they are obvious at some distance. Another lesson.

Other good finds for the morning were; a Northern harrier hanging around toward the back end of Bunker pond. This bird picked up and floated toward TNC's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge but was continuing to gain altitude, migrating? On the back end of the red trail there was a good sized flock of Eastern kingbirds chasing one another around. Also, a good number of Bobolink flying over. My largest singe flock was 140 birds. I totaled 414 but there were probably half that number that passed that I could not locate in the sky. Funny how you can hear "plink" coming from over head and not see a thing. Or, hear one "plink" and find a flock of 50 Bobolink.

One last note; just got a call from George Myers that they had a LARK SPARROW on the CMBO Villas WMA walk this morning. If you have yet to bird the Villas WMA you definitely need to make the trip. It's a very cool place to bird and the walking is extremely easy since the paths are all paved.

As usual the list of species seen today is below.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 8/26/07
Number of species: 66
Canada Goose 4
Mute Swan 43
Gadwall 2
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 12
Hooded Merganser 1
Great Blue Heron 2
Osprey 1
Northern Harrier 1
Black-bellied Plover 2
Semipalmated Plover 16
Killdeer 1
Lesser Yellowlegs 10
Spotted Sandpiper 4
Sanderling 5
Semipalmated Sandpiper 6
Least Sandpiper 52
White-rumped Sandpiper 2
Pectoral Sandpiper 1
Short-billed Dowitcher 1
Laughing Gull 196
Herring Gull 15
Great Black-backed Gull 36
Royal Tern 36
Common Tern 8
Forster's Tern 35
Least Tern 28
Black Tern 4
Black Skimmer 2
Rock Pigeon 36
Mourning Dove 22
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Eastern Kingbird 26
White-eyed Vireo 6
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 4
Purple Martin 2
Tree Swallow 75
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Bank Swallow 4
Barn Swallow 45
Carolina Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 1
Carolina Wren 12
House Wren 4
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
American Robin 6
Gray Catbird 3
Northern Mockingbird 1
Cedar Waxwing 8
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 2
American Redstart 4
Common Yellowthroat 1
Eastern Towhee 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Indigo Bunting 1
Bobolink 414
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Common Grackle 8
Brown-headed Cowbird 32
House Finch 12
House Sparrow 8
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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