Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An Evening at Nummy: Orange-crowned Warbler, Whimbrel, Red Knot

This evening's CMBO walk/tour of Nummy Island began with a rarity, in the form of an exceptional spring Orange-crowned Warbler. This bird, a very nice, bright male, was in the thickets on the west side of the road, at the north end of the island, just south of the free bridge into Stone Harbor. The bird was still present when we left at 4:45pm, but I couldn't re-find it after the walk ended at 6:30. Sibley in his 1997 edition of The Birds of Cape May lists five spring records of Orange-crowned Warbler in Cape May County between 1983 and 1994, spanning the dates of April 14 to May 9. Thanks and congrats to Gail Dwyer for finding this gem!

Otherwise, we still felt the effects from yesterday's cold front passage, as temperatures were trapped in the 50s and a stiff breeze continued to blow out of the west. However, this wasn't stopping birds from migrating. We watched several flocks of Double-crested Cormorants and Glossy Ibis arrive from the southeast. 125+ Red Knots flew in off the ocean into Hereford Inlet, arriving non-stop from...?

There were still some lingering diving birds around, in the form of 5 Common Loons and 3 Red-breasted Mergansers. I had a brief look at a Great Cormorant, as well as a distant Tricolored Heron. An equally distant Little Blue Heron stayed in view for a bit longer.

It was high tide this evening, and as a result, shorebirds were easily visible, and in numbers. The majority consisted of Short-billed Dowitchers and Black-bellied Plovers, but we also enjoyed some superb looks at Red Knots. 2 Clapper Rails put on a great show on the south side of the island.

Perhaps one of the most interesting sights of the evening was that of 3 Bald Eagles which were hanging around the Nummy Island area, consisting of one adult and two immatures. The adult bird was chowing down on a fish along the back side of Stone Harbor Point, and an immature sitting on Champagne Island looked to be doing the same. Just where these birds came from is anyone's guess; however, the adult bird this evening was pretty ratty looking, rather like one of the adult birds from Beaver Swamp. And there have been two immature eagles bumming around that area recently, as well...

All in all, it was quite an evening of birding- hopefully we'll see you out there next week!

Location: Nummy Island
Observation date: 4/30/08
Number of species: 45
Brant 150
American Black Duck 6

Mallard 2
Red-breasted Merganser 3
Common Loon 5
Double-crested Cormorant 225
Great Cormorant 1
Great Egret 3
Snowy Egret 5
Little Blue Heron 2
Tricolored Heron 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1
Glossy Ibis 17
Osprey 6
Bald Eagle 3
Clapper Rail 9
Black-bellied Plover 70
Semipalmated Plover 1
Greater Yellowlegs 8
Willet 18
Whimbrel 80
Ruddy Turnstone 2
Red Knot 150
Semipalmated Sandpiper 2
Least Sandpiper 20
Dunlin 60
Short-billed Dowitcher 85
Laughing Gull 175
Herring Gull 120
Great Black-backed Gull 30
Forster's Tern 8
Rock Pigeon 1
Mourning Dove 1
Fish Crow 6
Barn Swallow 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 1
European Starling 6
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Song Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 7
Red-winged Blackbird 16
Boat-tailed Grackle 20

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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