Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ducks in the Harbor

Several hundred diving ducks accumulated in Cape May Harbor yesterday during a lowish tide (though they were pushed around a bit by boats), including very fun to watch Red-breasted Mergansers that were busy courting as well as a collection of scaup to study - almost all Lessers. E-bird balked at my entry of 70 Ruddy Ducks, which surprised me because a) it is prime duck migration time and b) that was an actual count. I was viewing from the Nature Center of Cape May's deck, primarily, which provides a great overview of the harbor.

Other highlights included a pair of American Oystercatchers right in front of NCCM, and my first Laughing Gulls of the year. I also noted a marked increase in Fish Crows, apparently newly arrived from points south. The full list is below.

Location: Cape May Harbor
Observation date: 3/22/08
Number of species: 25
Brant 50
Greater Scaup 4
Lesser Scaup 50
Long-tailed Duck 1
Bufflehead 75
Common Goldeneye 1
Red-breasted Merganser 150
Ruddy Duck 70
Red-throated Loon 1
Horned Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Turkey Vulture 5
American Oystercatcher 2
Laughing Gull 5
Ring-billed Gull 3
Herring Gull 10
Great Black-backed Gull 5
Rock Pigeon 25
American Crow 5
Fish Crow 25
Cedar Waxwing 10
Song Sparrow 5
White-throated Sparrow 5
Red-winged Blackbird 5
House Sparrow 10

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