Wednesday, January 16, 2008

187 Eagles Tallied (preliminary), and Birds at Stone Harbor Point

187 Bald Eagles (105 adults, 66 subadults, 16 unknown age) is the preliminary total from last weekend's survey of southern NJ Bald Eagle habitat. One Golden Eagle was also found, in the Lower Mullica River area. I also heard tell of numbers of Short-eared Owls and Rough-legged Hawks at Tuckahoe/Corbin City.

I walked Stone Harbor Point on Monday. The highlights included two distinguished vistors to Champagne Island (the island at the southern tip of Stone Harbor). One was a very interesting dark raptor that I couldn't quite make out until I got to the tip, and even then could only say it was a falcon (which made it even more interesting). However, when I asked to borrow my son's 10X Leicas (I was carrying 8X Zeiss), I could detect the mustache of a very dark immature Peregrine. The other neat find on Champagne was a hauled out Harbor Seal.

Stone Harbor Point itself hosted 31 American Oystercatchers, plus a raft of ~500 scoter offshore, with a couple dozen gannets fishing over them and a single female Common Eider drifting off to one side. On the return walk, we flushed about 20 Snow Buntings from the dunes along the path leading from the parking lot south towards the point. The buntings were feeding just north of the pond. A full list follows.

Location: Stone Harbor Point
Observation date: 1/14/08
Notes: With Tim and Becky. Also saw a Harbor Seal on Champagne Island.
Number of species: 29
Brant 75
American Black Duck 50
Common Eider 1
Surf Scoter 100
Black Scoter 400
Long-tailed Duck 12
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Red-throated Loon 1
Common Loon 5
Northern Gannet 25
Great Blue Heron 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
Black-bellied Plover 5
American Oystercatcher 31
Ruddy Turnstone 5
Sanderling 50
Western Sandpiper 2
Dunlin 150
Ring-billed Gull 5
Herring Gull 100
Great Black-backed Gull 25
Rock Pigeon 5
Mourning Dove 10
American Robin 25
Yellow-rumped Warbler 5
Song Sparrow 5
Dark-eyed Junco 25
Snow Bunting 20
Red-winged Blackbird 3

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