Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ruddy Turnstones at Townsend's Inlet

The first southbound Ruddy Turnstones I've encountered this summer, a dozen strong, joined 50 Sanderlings and 5 Semi-palmated Plovers at Townsend's Inlet this evening. Townsend's is the inlet separating Avalon from Sea Isle City, just north of the Avalon Sea Watch.

The evening gave cause to ruminate on birding without binoculars, which is what I was doing. Ted Eubanks has an article on this in the current issue of Birding magazine, but of course folks have been watching birds without the aid of optics, well, since before there were optics.

I was actually fishing tonight, but as Vince Elia, CMBO research associate, puts it, "I'm never not birding." And I'd have to say that bins would not have added any species to tonight's list - the selection of seaside birds consisted of those distinctive at great distances, such as the highly patterned turnstones, the behaviorly distinctive Sanderlings and foraging Black Skimmers, the very vocal Common Terns, and the omnipresent "flying m's" - Ospreys.

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