Friday, August 10, 2007

Shorebird evening at Cape May Point State Park

I spent a brief half hour near sunset at Bunker Pond, hoping for two things: to study terns and maybe find something unusual coming in for the night, and to listen to Stilt Sandpipers.

The hoped-for tern study was in vain - there were NO terns at all roosting on the Bunker Pond Islands, except since Black Skimmers are in fact terns I suppose I can't quite say the Islands were ternless. Two skimmers rested there briefly and a total of 5 foraged over the pond during the time I was there. The only other terns I saw were fly-bys.

The Stilt Sandpipers were more obliging. 2 or 3 were present on the pond as I walked up, but several were in the air and calling, so I'm not sure how many there were in total. Stilt s.p. calls don't jump out at you - they deliver a soft, Lesser Yellowlegs kind of call, something easy to listen right past.

Semipalmated Sandpiper numbers have increased in recent days, and single White-rumped and Western Sandpipers fed among them. Perhaps the largest Greater Yellowlegs I've ever seen foraged in fairly deep water, clearly a female with a sweeping godwit-like bill and seeming as big as a duck. Tonight's list, just a half hour's observation from a single point, is below.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 8/10/07
Number of species: 23
Canada Goose 9
Mute Swan 1
Mallard 10
Great Egret 1
Semipalmated Plover 12
Killdeer 2
Greater Yellowlegs 4
Lesser Yellowlegs 5
Solitary Sandpiper 1
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Sanderling 3
Semipalmated Sandpiper 150
Western Sandpiper 1
Least Sandpiper 35 2 juvs, the only juvs in the lot of shorebirds tonight
White-rumped Sandpiper 1
Stilt Sandpiper 5
Laughing Gull 100
Common Tern 10
Forster's Tern 1
Least Tern 5
Black Skimmer 5
Purple Martin 5
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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