Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Higbee on Tuesday, and of Cooper's Hawks and bats

Karl Lukens reports from Higbee Beach yesterday:

"A couple of pockets of warblers produced B&W Warblers, Redstarts, Magnolia, Parula, BT Green, and Red-eyed Vireo, on a day we expected birding to be very slow. Still many Flickers going in all directions, numerous Blue Jays, and 1 Red-headed Woodpecker fly-over. It was a treat to watch an Osprey and Bald Eagle interacting (no apparent fish involved) as a Peregrine Falcon also flew by."

Karl et. al.'s Higbee list is below.

9/25/2007 ~ in Higbee Beach ~ New Jersey Checklist ~ 46 seen

Double-crested Cormorant 1
Little Blue Heron 3
Canada Goose 1
Osprey 2
Bald Eagle 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 8
Merlin 2
Peregrine Falcon 1
Greater Yellowlegs 4
Great Black-backed Gull 2
American Herring Gull 1
Laughing Gull 10
Royal Tern 1
Rock Pigeon 4
Mourning Dove 8
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Red-headed Woodpecker 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 30
Least Flycatcher 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Tree Swallow 10
Barn Swallow 1
Carolina Wren4
Gray Catbird 5
American Robin 1
Carolina Chickadee 3
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
Blue Jay 8
American Crow 10
European Starling 10
Red-eyed Vireo 1
American Goldfinch 1
Northern Parula 1
Magnolia Warbler 2
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 2
American Redstart 3
Eastern Towhee 1
Northern Cardinal 6
Bobolink 1
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Common Grackle 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 1

Thanks to the current "Bermuda high," the hawk watch was quiet yesterday morning, with just an occasional small falcon or sharpie, at least early-on. An interesting bird went over the parking lot, though - George Myers got on it from the platform, and I from the center of the lot, at about the same time. It was a passerine, probably a sparrow, completely backlit for me but George said it had white outer tail feathers. Its call is what called it to my attention, no pun intended - very brief, sweet, medium high, a "tst" or quick "seet." Lark Sparrow? Vesper Sparrow? Who knows.

Up in Bucks County yesterday evening, at Peace Valley Nature Center, an interesting report was delivered to the Bucks County Birders (I was there giving a talk) - a Cooper's Hawk captured a small bat outside the center earlier in the evening. Amazing birds, Coop's are. My favorite Coop catch came some years ago, when an apparent female blew out of a stand of trees near a pond and plucked a Ring-necked Duck from a flock flying at full speed, which means probably 40 miles an hour or so.

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