Friday, July 11, 2008

Meadows notes; recent highlights

Karl & Judy Lukens, along with Chuck & Mary Jane Slugg, sent along the following summary of this evening's Meadows Walk:

"Nice evening for the CMBO walk at "The "Meadows" . Shore birds flying over and a few sitting down. Nice looks at both Yellowlegs, Spotted, Solitary, and Least Sandpipers, Piping Plovers and Killdeer. Skimmers and Oystercatchers are always nice. Five Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the mix of gulls on the beach."

I couldn't get to the Meadows by the time the walk started, but birded it myself from 7-8pm. I spent about half an hour scanning offshore, and while numbers weren't particularly impressive, quality sure was. A ratty-looking fly-by Brant was the first red-letter bird, winging its way east along the beachfront and then around the 2nd Avenue jetty...I'd sure love to know where that bird came from.

The next highlight came by way of a dark, robust and agile bird that magically appeared off the water and pursued a Laughing Gull high into the air, stole its food, and then just as quickly vanished again into the thick haze over the ocean. The bird was a Parasitic Jaeger, a species that is by no means an expected summertime visitor here, and is just the second I've ever seen in July. Jaegers and Brant are rather characteristic coastal migrants in October, but to see both within five minutes of each other on July 11 is quite a treat, and not likely to be repeated again in the near future.

Other personal highlights from my stroll included a Willow Flycatcher still singing toward the beach end of the west path, and what was probably the same Least Bittern calling from the start of the ponds along the east path at dusk.

In other news, an early-morning visit to Stone Harbor Point on Thursday yielded 2 adult Sandwich Terns loafing on the east end of Champagne Island. Most of Belleplain's breeding birds were vocal first thing Wednesday morning, including a nice count of 16 Acadian Flycatchers between Pine Swamp Road and the Sunset Bridge area. The Red-headed Woodpecker continues toward the back of the "electric fence area." The pair of Northern Bobwhites at Beaver Swamp WMA were easily viewed on Wednesday, as well.

Meadows walk list included:

Location: South Cape May Meadows
Observation date: 7/11/08
Number of species: 47
Canada Goose 30

Mute Swan 13
Gadwall 2
Mallard 20
Surf Scoter 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 2
Glossy Ibis 25
Osprey 1
Piping Plover 4
Killdeer 8
American Oystercatcher 7
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Solitary Sandpiper 1
Greater Yellowlegs 6
Lesser Yellowlegs 8
Least Sandpiper 4
Short-billed Dowitcher 4
Laughing Gull 50
Ring-billed Gull 1
Herring Gull 20
Lesser Black-backed Gull 5
Great Black-backed Gull 50
Least Tern 30
Common Tern 3
Forster's Tern 15
Royal Tern 3
Black Skimmer 6
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 3
Chimney Swift 3
Eastern Kingbird 2
Fish Crow 1
Purple Martin 5
Barn Swallow 10
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 5
Common Yellowthroat 4
Song Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Common Grackle 5
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 2
House Sparrow 2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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