Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thurs. 6/26: Hooded Merganser, Gull-billed Terns - SCMM

A walk around the Meadows this evening turned up a few nice sights, highlighted by the young male Hooded Merganser that was napping on the large island in the main pool. This is undoubtedly the same bird that was seen at Cove Pool a week ago, and a safe bet to be the bird that was reported in this same vicinity over a month ago. In ten years of birding Cape May, this is only the third time I've seen this species during the month of June.

There were also two Gull-billed Terns hunting across the span of the Meadows, vocalizing and being rather conspicuous, particularly when the two joined up to escort one of the local Cooper's Hawks back toward the State Park. In fact, the birds seemed even, dare I say, territorial as they chased away the Coop, and I'd think that there could be enough habitat somewhere between Cove Pool and the Meadows to host a pair of these terns...

Otherwise, the single Bank Swallow that was feeding over the main pool easily could have been an early migrant or disperser, as I typically start seeing the species re-appear in these parts around July 1. I didn't come across any other obvious signs of migration this evening, and other than the two Willets and 14 Killdeer which flushed along the east path when the Coop passed through, there were no other shorebirds in the Meadows proper. Between fly-overs and beach-loungers, I tallied six Lesser Black-backed Gulls this evening.

In other news, a brief trip to the State Park revealed the continuing, and rather dapper, Ruddy Duck on Lighthouse Pond. A Pine Warbler was singing near the entrance of the boardwalk to Lighthouse Pond- not being a daily visitor to the southern tip of the peninsula, I'm unaware as to whether this species is actually attempting to breed here this year or not, but if so, it would make for a notable record.

List from the Meadows included-
Location: South Cape May Meadows
Observation date: 6/26/08
Number of species: 52
Canada Goose 30

Mute Swan 12
Gadwall 4
Mallard 25
Hooded Merganser 1
Great Egret 3
Snowy Egret 6
Green Heron 2
Glossy Ibis 2
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 3
Cooper's Hawk 1
Killdeer 14
Willet (Eastern) 2
Laughing Gull 45
Ring-billed Gull 4
Herring Gull 15
Lesser Black-backed Gull 6
Great Black-backed Gull 30
Least Tern 25
Gull-billed Tern 2
Common Tern 25
Forster's Tern 9
Royal Tern 1
Black Skimmer 6
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 8
Chimney Swift 2
Willow Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 2
American Crow 2
Fish Crow 6
Purple Martin 12
Tree Swallow 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Bank Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 6
Carolina Wren 2
American Robin 2
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 25
Cedar Waxwing 3
Common Yellowthroat 2
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Indigo Bunting 1
Red-winged Blackbird 15
Common Grackle 6
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow 6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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