Sunday, December 23, 2007

Black Guillemot - not

A couple hours this morning spent searching for the Black Guillemot (found yesterday) were fruitless - well, no, they bore fruit, just not the Black Guillemot kind. It was raining in fits and starts, but the sea was still calm enough that if the bird were around, it would have been findable. I did learn from Chris Brown that apparently when last seen, the guillemot had been flushed by a departing ferry and was headed for Delaware. . .

Amy Gaberlein did some checking online and discovered: "Archives on NJAS site has (brief) Cape May Black Guillemot sightings from Avalon Seawatch on November 23rd and 29th, 2004.
There are a few more sightings from Barnegat and Manasquan Inlets throughout the last ten years or so. The December 2005 Barnegat bird stayed around for quite awhile - last seen January 12, 2006. (A season with "record numbers of Common Eiders", it may be noted.)"

At least we were entertained this morning by a group of Bonaparte's Gulls, plus a smattering of sea ducks, the usual jetty-pipers, and a foraging group of tree swallows over the Cape May canal. The list for Higbee, just an hour from the jetty, is below.

Location: Higbee Beach
Observation date: 12/23/07
Notes: Looking for the guillemot, seawatch from jetty only.
Number of species: 19
Surf Scoter 10
White-winged Scoter 1
Black Scoter 20
Red-breasted Merganser 7
Red-throated Loon 2
Black-bellied Plover 1
Killdeer 1
Ruddy Turnstone 5
Sanderling 15
Purple Sandpiper 20
Dunlin 120
Bonaparte's Gull 35
Herring Gull 10
Great Black-backed Gull 5
Tree Swallow 50
Yellow-rumped Warbler 10
Song Sparrow 5
White-throated Sparrow 10
Purple Finch 5

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