Friday, March 28, 2008

Fri. 3/28: Reed's Beach notes; spring notes

It was downright warm in southern New Jersey today. Looks like we got a bit more sunshine than was originally predicted, which allowed temperatures to soar into the 70s in the area. The Atlantic City International Airport recorded a high of 76 degrees this afternoon; Wildwood and Millville reached 73. A cold front swept across the area during the afternoon, switching the winds to the northwest and batting back all that warm air. In fact, temperatures tomorrow night are expected to be in the 20s...

A tour around the neighborhood (Reed's Beach) this evening produced a fair mix of early spring birds. The ibis pond was a happening place, with 15 Great Egrets (my highest count so far), 9 Northern Shovelers, 4 Greater Yellowlegs and a handful of Green-winged Teal. The pair of Ospreys that nest along the west end of Bidwell Creek have arrived, which for this pair, is rather early. Since the nesting platform here was erected back around 2001 or 2002, my earliest arrival date is April 3, with an average arrival of April 4 to April 6 over the years. Both birds are usually present by April 8 to April 10. I haven't been out much in the past few days, so it's quite possible that one or both birds have been here for the better part of the week...

Diving ducks were almost completely absent this evening, and it seems quite likely that many have just simply moved out. A single male Greater Scaup prevented a total shut-out. A few hundred Snow Geese were present along the waterfront and in the marshes to the north of the creek, probably about 400 total. I was hoping to find an increase in Forster's Terns and Laughing Gulls along this portion of the bay, but there were no terns to be found, and just one "LAGU" flying about offshore. Gull numbers have dwindled since the Menhaden run of a few weeks back, and American Black Ducks have become decidedly less common over the past two weeks. Clapper Rails are becoming increasingly vocal during the evenings, approaching a "chorus" tonight.

It certainly appears that there was a decent little movement of birds last night, as evidenced by the superb report from Belleplain. A little time spent outside at Stockton College (in the middle of Atlantic County) provided the first Pine Warblers (5+), Chipping Sparrows (2) and Tree Swallows (6) I've encountered on campus this year.

List from Reed's Beach included-

Location: Reed's Beach
Observation date: 3/28/08
Number of species: 42
Snow Goose 400

Canada Goose 2
American Black Duck 18
Mallard 2
Northern Shoveler 9
Green-winged Teal 4
Greater Scaup 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 15
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 2
Northern Harrier 1
Clapper Rail 15
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Dunlin 5
Laughing Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 5
Herring Gull 30
Great Black-backed Gull 18
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 10
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 1
Blue Jay 2
Fish Crow 2
Tree Swallow 2
Carolina Chickadee 2
Carolina Wren 2
American Robin 15
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 10
Cedar Waxwing 8
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
Eastern Towhee 1
Song Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 6
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 15
House Finch 4
House Sparrow 9

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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