Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Brig: White Pelican, Stilt Sandpiper, White-rumpeds, dows, scaup

Given the south winds, we reluctantly abandoned Cape May today for our workshop in favor of Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, a.k.a. "Brig." The sheer number of birds at Brig right now is astonishing - 1,000's of Dunlin (probably the most abundant species there right now), Green-winged Teal, pintails, brant, Greater Yellowlegs, Black Ducks - the place is stuffed with birds.

In terms of the rarer stuff, the American White Pelican is still there, seen in the east pool in two different locations. Lingering shorebirds included 4 White-rumped Sandpipers, 2 Stilt Sandpipers, a single American Golden Plover, and 16 Marbled Godwits which first appeared as "the big brown things" in a huge flock of shorebirds put to flight by one of several peregrines, and which later were found roosting at the east side of the west pool, seen from the tower along the south dike. The other fancy shorebirds were seen from the north dike. The Stilt Sandpipers flew restlessly here and there, making it difficult for our group of over 20 workshop participants to get on, until finally one lighted next to the dike for the closest of close views.

Today's Brig list is below - 97 species, but the number pales beside the spectacle of thousands of shorebirds put to flight by hunting peregrines, or the marvelous wintry sounds of huge brant flocks, or the zooming flights of Hooded Mergansers, or the ornate male Wood Ducks, or the adult Bald Eagle sitting on the flats, or simply the marvelous bright blue sky this Halloween day. In the list below, if there's an "x" it's because I wasn't able to put a reasonably accurate figure to the number of birds actually present.

Location: E B Forsythe NWR
Observation date: 10/31/07
Notes: CMBO Cape May with Everything on It workshop
Number of species: 97
Snow Goose 300
Brant X
Canada Goose X
Mute Swan X
Wood Duck 10
Gadwall 20
American Wigeon 5
American Black Duck X
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) X
Mallard X
Northern Shoveler 10
Northern Pintail X
Green-winged Teal X
Greater Scaup X
Lesser Scaup X
Hooded Merganser 25
Ruddy Duck 10
Common Loon 2
American White Pelican 1
Double-crested Cormorant X
Great Blue Heron 10
Great Egret 75
Snowy Egret 10
Black-crowned Night-Heron 5
Turkey Vulture X
Bald Eagle 1
Northern Harrier 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 5
Merlin 1
Peregrine Falcon 5
Clapper Rail 1
American Coot 10
Black-bellied Plover X
American Golden-Plover 1
Semipalmated Plover 3
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Greater Yellowlegs X
Lesser Yellowlegs 1
Marbled Godwit 16
Red Knot 1
Western Sandpiper 50
Least Sandpiper 20
White-rumped Sandpiper 4
Pectoral Sandpiper 4
Dunlin X
Stilt Sandpiper 2
Short-billed Dowitcher 2
Long-billed Dowitcher 5
Laughing Gull X
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Great Black-backed Gull X
Forster's Tern X
Rock Pigeon X
Mourning Dove X
Red-bellied Woodpecker X
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker X
Downy Woodpecker X
Hairy Woodpecker X
Northern Flicker X
Blue Jay X
American Crow X
Fish Crow X
Tree Swallow X
Carolina Chickadee X
Tufted Titmouse X
Red-breasted Nuthatch 10
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Brown Creeper 1
Carolina Wren 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet X
Eastern Bluebird 2
Hermit Thrush 5
American Robin X
Gray Catbird X
Northern Mockingbird X
European Starling X
American Pipit 1
Cedar Waxwing 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler X
Eastern Towhee 1
Savannah Sparrow X
Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow X
Swamp Sparrow X
White-throated Sparrow X
Northern Cardinal X
Red-winged Blackbird X
Eastern Meadowlark X
Common Grackle X
Boat-tailed Grackle X
Purple Finch 10
House Finch 25
Pine Siskin 1
American Goldfinch 20
House Sparrow X

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