Monday, June 2, 2008

Kite over Meadows, Notes from Bear Swamp & the Bayshore

[Acadian Flycatcher banded in Bear Swamp, Cumberland County, on Sunday. Unlike only one week ago, when many migrant thrushes were present there, this week not a single obvious migrant was found, just breeders like this one. Northbound landbird migration is essentially through, with just a few late stragglers to be expected in early June. Photo by Don Freiday, click to enlarge.]

CMBO's Monday morning walk at the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge was highlighted by a subadult Mississippi Kite which sailed over with some Black Vultures and Broad-winged Hawks on a refreshing northwest wind, just the sort of condition to put a kite in Cape May. A singing Field Sparrow was a curiousity to me since there hadn't been one here last Monday - this bird began near the parking lot and sang its way west along the hedgerow paralleling Sunset Boulevard, behaving very much like a new arrival or "floating" male. No fancy terns could be found, and only a smattering of shorebirds, including the local Killdeer and two breeding plumage Short-billed Dowitchers roosting in the Meadows, and a smattering of other shorebirds overhead. The full list is below.

Our second week of MAPS banding found no obvious migrants in Bear Swamp, off Route 555 in Cumberland County, just the usual selection of quality breeders like Kentucky and Worm-eating Warblers and a still-calling Whip-poor-will. This is a precious patch of woods, spectacular numbers of mosquitoes and deer ticks notwithstanding. The full list from Bear Swamp (birds heard/seen, not the banding list) is below.

Many Delaware Bay shorebirds have departed, but my NJAS citizen science shorebird survey at Norbury's landing yesterday yielded a few hundred, including two knots roosting among Sanderlings and Semi-palmated Sandpipers. That list, too, follows.

Location: South Cape May Meadows
Observation date: 6/2/08
Number of species: 54

Notes: CMBO Monday morning Meadows walk. Most shorebirds were flyovers; 2 dowitchers in Meadows.
Canada Goose 25
Mute Swan 6
Gadwall 5
Mallard 5
Common Loon 1
Double-crested Cormorant 4
Great Egret 4
Glossy Ibis 10
Black Vulture 5
Turkey Vulture 5
Osprey 10
Mississippi Kite 1
Broad-winged Hawk 5
Piping Plover 2
Killdeer 5
American Oystercatcher 2
Willet 2
Semipalmated Sandpiper 30
Short-billed Dowitcher 40
Laughing Gull X
Ring-billed Gull 10
Herring Gull 40
Great Black-backed Gull 20
Least Tern 30
Common Tern 50
Forster's Tern 50
Rock Pigeon 10
Mourning Dove 10
Chimney Swift 5
Willow Flycatcher 2
Eastern Kingbird 3
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 20
Fish Crow 10
Purple Martin 5
Tree Swallow 10
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Barn Swallow 20
Carolina Wren 3
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 5
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 5
Cedar Waxwing 10
Common Yellowthroat 5
Field Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 25
Common Grackle 25
Boat-tailed Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Orchard Oriole 1
American Goldfinch 10
House Sparrow 20

Location: Bear Swamp
Observation date: 6/1/08
Number of species: 37
Canada Goose X
Laughing Gull X
Mourning Dove X
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3
Barred Owl 1
Whip-poor-will 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Acadian Flycatcher 4
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Yellow-throated Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 10
Blue Jay X
Tufted Titmouse 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2
Wood Thrush 5
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 1
Yellow-throated Warbler 1
Pine Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 2
Worm-eating Warbler 5
Ovenbird 10
Kentucky Warbler 3
Summer Tanager 1
Scarlet Tanager 1
Eastern Towhee 1
Chipping Sparrow 3
Northern Cardinal 5
Indigo Bunting 1
Common Grackle 10
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
American Goldfinch 5

Location: Norbury's Landing
Observation date: 6/1/08
Number of species: 14
Notes: NJAS shorebird survey, 5 p.m., tide 2 hours before high.
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1
Semipalmated Plover 12
American Oystercatcher 1
Ruddy Turnstone 40
Red Knot 2
Sanderling 25
Semipalmated Sandpiper 520
Laughing Gull 50
Ring-billed Gull 2
Herring Gull 30
Great Black-backed Gull 10
Least Tern 15
Forster's Tern 60
Indigo Bunting 1

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