Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meadows Closed; high tides and east winds

TNC has closed the South Cape May Meadows for phragmites spraying. This site is also known as the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, along Sunset. During the closure, any CMBO walks scheduled for that site will shift to Cape May Point State Park.

The extreme northeast wind has caused very high tides along the shore, concentrating shorebirds at a few high ground locations. One such was the pool east of the Wetlands Institute along the Stone Harbor Causeway yesterday, which held many dowitchers (both species), yellowlegs, Western Willets, and others. Nummy Island is a good spot to check, too, and while you're there check the roadside vegetation for salt sparrows (Salt-marsh and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows and Seaside Sparrow were all seen there yesterday) and rails that have been pushed there by high tides. A small group I was leading there yesterday had all the herons and egrets save Green and Least Bittern - this included a flyby American Bittern and many Black-crowned Night-herons, 50 or more. Piping Plovers are still lingering at Stone Harbor Point, where one can also find Dunlin and a few Pectorals and White-rumpeds amid many Western Sandpipers and Sanderlings.

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