Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Back Bay Cruise

There is still room on the Saturday October 11 Sunset Cruise aboard the Osprey from 2 to 6 p.m., and the following report from Captain David Githens ought to make one want to get on board! Call CMBO at 609.861.0700 to register. We also partner with Captain Dave on trips every Sunday and Monday, call 609.898.3500 to register for these CMBO-sponsored Cape May boat tours.

"Here is an update for recent Birding By Boat sightings on Sun. & Mon. CMBO trips: Highlights include Marbled Godwit, American Bittern, Brant, Bald Eagle, and excellent numbers of shorebirds.

American Bitterns are migrating and participants viewed a bittern less than 20 feet from the boat. Two Marbled Godwits were located at Champagne Island amid 300+ American Oystercatchers. Champagne Island is spectacular, hosting several thousand Black-bellied plovers, dunlin, sanderling, semi-p. /western sandpipers, a few Royal Terns, and abundant Forsters Terns. Two Common terns were also located.

Other shorebirds here and in the back bays include excellent looks at Ruddy turnstones, short-billed dowitchers, Great Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpipers. At one point two Peregrine falcons were chasing around the island after many of the birds. The first flocks of brant were located on Monday in Jarvis Sound and Grassy Sound. Heron and egret numbers are impressive with up to 8 Tri-colored herons being seen at once. Great blue heron numbers are increasing. Clapper rails are active a low tide. An immature Bald Eagle was seen perching on osprey platforms and hunting over the marsh. Numerous peregrine are being seen migrating down the marshes."

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