Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gannet Spectacle Part II

After the fabulous morning, I was curious enough to find out what was going on out in Delaware Bay that I rode the 3:30 ferry to Lewes, and back again, clicker and notebook in hand. Easily 100 Gannets were within spitting distance of the boat the whole time we were in sight of NJ (not all that long, it was very foggy), calling and diving behind it. On the return trip, about 5 p.m., we went through a flock of 600 gannets sitting on the water, spaced 50-100 yards apart, directly off the Ferry Terminal but mostly too far out to be seen from shore - until they got up and began following the ferry, which they did all the way to the mouth of the canal.

Scoter and Red-throated Loon numbers were lower than I expected. Five Snowy Egrets crossing the Bay was a nice treat. The full report follows.

Location: Cape May-Lewes Ferry NJ Waters
Observation date: 3/28/09
Notes: Somewhat foggy NJ side, very foggy near Delaware. Note we counted 50 Gannets a minute flying out of bay from concrete ship between 10 and 11 a.m.
Number of species: 24
Surf Scoter 80
Black Scoter 30
dark-winged scoter sp. 45
Bufflehead 10
Red-breasted Merganser 27
Red-throated Loon 8
Common Loon 1
Northern Gannet 600 Used a clicker. Counted 325 on way to Lewes; most came from south along the bay and followed the ferry, easily 100 were in view close to the boat while NJ was visible (it was foggy). Thinned out dramatically in mid-bay, none to speak of on Delaware side. On way back, encountered flock that I felt I could see the edges of, ferry went right through it. 600 birds resting 50-100 yards apart, many got up as we went through, followed the boat, some diving and successfully catching fish in the wake - Bunker?
Double-crested Cormorant 3 Did not count the 150 (and 6 Greats) on the Lewes breakwater.
Great Blue Heron 5 flying across bay to NJ
Snowy Egret 5 flying across bay to NJ
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 1
Black-bellied Plover 3 in flight over bay
American Oystercatcher 2 on south jetty
Lesser Yellowlegs 5 flying across bay to NJ
Sanderling 2
Dunlin 5
Laughing Gull 12
Ring-billed Gull 2
Herring Gull 100
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 adult standing on jetty
Great Black-backed Gull 20
Rock Pigeon 30
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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