Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Meadows News and a Few Rare Bird Reports

[Least Tern chick, Cape May Meadows, Monday 7/14/08. Least Tern chicks are precocial, regulating their own temperature within 48 hours of hatching, often by finding shelter in dune grass. Photo digiscoped by Don Freiday, click to enlarge.]

A few fancy birds continue, plus one or two more that haven't made their way to the web site yet. Some are fancy mainly because they are unseasonal. E.g., the White-winged Scoter appeared off Poverty Beach last Thursday & continues; the Brant first found off St. Mary's on Saturday; and a Pine Siskin that was detected near Davey's Lake, Higbee Beach on Saturday. I had a Marbled Godwit fly over me while fishing near the free bridge to Nummy Island on Sunday.

Monday's CMBO walk at the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, a.k.a. the Cape May Meadows, detected a Brown Pelican, very scarce this year (I had two more Brown Pelicans while kayking off Norbury's Landing last night). Heron numbers at the Meadows are building, e.g. 10 Black-crowned Night-herons. Nothing much seems to be going on at the rips off Cape May, probably due to continued cold water temperature. A forecast heat wave this week may change that - warm water should mean more baitfish and more birds. A quick check of ebird reveals I had as many as 325 Common Terns in the rips July 4 last year - nothing like that concentration has occurred this summer as far as I know. A number of Bank Swallows were seen around Cape May Point Monday as well. The full list from the Meadows on Monday is below, with more noteworthy birds or counts bold-faced.

[Forster's Tern chick (left) with parent, near fledging, along Grassy Sound channel near Nummy Island on Saturday. We had a fledgling Forster's flying with a parent at the Cape May Meadows on Monday, the first fledged one we've seen, and about on time. Forster's, as far as I know, do not breed on Cape Island. Photo by Don Freiday, click to enlarge.]

Notes: CMBO Monday Meadows Walk
Number of species: 59
Canada Goose 100
Mute Swan 25
Gadwall 4
Mallard 75
Hooded Merganser 1
Brown Pelican 1
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 5
Black-crowned Night-Heron 10
Glossy Ibis 40
Black Vulture 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 3
Piping Plover 10
Killdeer 5
American Oystercatcher 6
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Greater Yellowlegs 5
Lesser Yellowlegs 25
Least Sandpiper 40
Short-billed Dowitcher 25
Laughing Gull X
Ring-billed Gull 2
Herring Gull 20
Lesser Black-backed Gull 7
Great Black-backed Gull 75
Least Tern 20
Common Tern 15
Forster's Tern 10
Royal Tern 5
Black Skimmer 1
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 10
Chimney Swift 5
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Kingbird 1
American Crow 1
Fish Crow 3
Purple Martin 20
Tree Swallow 5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 5
Bank Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 20
Carolina Wren 5
American Robin 25
Gray Catbird 3
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 10
Cedar Waxwing 10
Common Yellowthroat 5
Song Sparrow 10
Northern Cardinal 10
Blue Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 1
Red-winged Blackbird 30
Common Grackle 10
American Goldfinch 10
House Sparrow 10

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