Just got an email from Mike Fritz re: Champagne Island's Sandwich Tern(s):
"Don, I was out there last night and photographed as did Kevin Karlson a young Sandwich Tern chick that was with an adult. It was capable of flight ( just barely) and I can't imagine it came from anywhere other than Champagne Island as it had very undeveloped flight feathers and it was unbanded so likely wasn't a Maryland bird."
This is fantastic news! I'm not sure what was going on with the Sandwich Tern I saw there yesterday - Mike suggested it could have been looking for a chick to feed, but it seemed to clearly be courting the Royal Terns, so it could be yet another bird. Part of the problem with observing at Champagne Island (besides the fact you can only get there by boat, or view from the tip of Stone Harbor Point) is that part of the colony is not visible from where the public is allowed to go, because the state has rightly closed much of the island off.
Happily, the little subcolony of Black Skimmers on the south side of the island survived last week's full moon tide. Birders tend to hope for hurricanes and tropical storms to bring vagrants, but from the perspective of beach nesters we should hope the storms wait until September.
More bird news comes from Bob & Mary Ellen Claussen, also by email from yesterday:
"7 PM at the Meadows, right in front of the observation deck, for 15 minutes we had an immature white ibis preening. Also about 7:15, two immature yellow crowned night herons flew in and landed on the other side of the pathway."
And, "At approximately 1:30 PM on 7/26, we had a black scoter in the water and a surf scoter on the beach two jetties south of the Ocean Ave. jetty at Cape May Point."