Monday, February 4, 2008

Mon. 2/4: Beaver Swamp WMA -- Eagles on eggs?

I wandered over to Beaver Swamp WMA this evening to check for the local Bald Eagle pair, as well as anything else that was around. Beaver Swamp is located in South Dennis, directly east from CMBO's Center for Research and Education. It is Site D on CMBO's Birding Map to Cape May County.

Upon arriving, one eagle was easily seen, perched near the nest. It was possible that the blob I occasionally saw in the nest was the other adult, likely on eggs. In our neck of the woods, eagles can be on eggs as early as late-January... I also didn't see the other adult bird in the area the whole time I was there, which was until 15 minutes after sunset. However, it certainly wasn't a definitive look, and after what happened during the Cumberland County Eagle Festival (when I and a few others saw what we thought was a Bald Eagle on a nest, only for it to reveal itself as a Great Horned Owl later), I won't totally jump to conclusions yet. Not that this would've been an owl of course, but I figure if you can call an owl an eagle's head, you can call a few oddly-placed sticks an eagle's head too...

Other birds here included 13 Ring-necked Ducks and 4 Hooded Mergansers on the millpond, a very talkative Belted Kingfisher, an immature Bald Eagle that went to roost in a pine tree about 1/4 mile north of the nest, and singles of Brown Thrasher, Hermit Thrush and Fox Sparrow in the patch of woods at the south side of the pond. A few Red-winged Blackbirds were singing, as they have been now for at least a week. Interesting, as there were still a few hundred blackbirds flocking together here this evening as well.

Complete list included-

Location: Beaver Swamp WMA
Observation date: 2/4/08
Number of species: 22
Canada Goose 15

American Black Duck 2
Mallard 9
Ring-necked Duck 13
Hooded Merganser 4
Great Blue Heron 1
Bald Eagle 2
Wilson's Snipe 1
Great Black-backed Gull 1
Mourning Dove 1
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 25
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling 75
Fox Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 3
Swamp Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 25
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 350
Common Grackle 125
Brown-headed Cowbird 20

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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