Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sun. 3/16: Beaver Swamp eagles and snipe; more signs of spring; online hummingbird tracker

An afternoon visit to Beaver Swamp WMA, site D on the CMBO Birding Map, produced the local Bald Eagle family, including occasional looks at the now month-old chicks. This nest was one of the first in the state to hatch this season. Everything looks to be in good order; hopefully the adult birds here have gotten their act together when it comes to nesting successfully. This pair has seen mixed results since it originally started nesting at this location several years ago.

The other real highlight here was the decent number of Wilson's Snipe hanging around the place, at least a dozen, and those were just the one's I was able to see. There were 8 snipe probing about on the vegetated strips closest to the dike, about 20 feet away- and even still, remarkably hard to see unless they were moving. Snipe have that remarkable ability to blend in extraordinarily well with their surroundings, regardless of what those surroundings may be.

Other nice sights and sounds at Beaver Swamp included the first Ruby-crowned Kinglet I've encountered in a while, 17 Ring-necked Ducks, a cooperative Belted Kingfisher and distant looks at two Black Vultures and a Red-shouldered Hawk.

Red Maples are starting to show some color, as were several of the Forsythia I passed in my travels today. I've also heard four species of frogs calling this week: Spring Peeper, New Jersey Chorus Frog, Wood Frog and Southern Leopard Frog... just a few more signs that spring is, indeed, just "officially" a few days away.

Lastly, Amy Gaberlein passed along a link for a
website that tracks the northward migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, operated by The Purple Martin Conservation Association also has a similar webpage that tracks northbound Purple Martins, which you can view here . Both are very neat, check 'em out!

Full list from Beaver Swamp included-

Location: Beaver Swamp WMA
Observation date: 3/16/08
Number of species: 28
Mallard 2

Ring-necked Duck 17
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 1
Bald Eagle 4
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Wilson's Snipe 12
Ring-billed Gull 2
Herring Gull 35
Great Black-backed Gull 6
Mourning Dove 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 1
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 1
Carolina Chickadee 2
Tufted Titmouse 2
Carolina Wren 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 20
Gray Catbird 1
European Starling 6
Song Sparrow 1
Swamp Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 9
Common Grackle 2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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