Monday, May 11, 2009

About those kites. . .plus full meadows report

So what happened was I yelled out "Swallow-tailed Kite!" ( a great way to get a birding group's attention), realized that the bird was showing wing molt that last week's Swallow-tailed in Cape May had not, and before we knew it we were looking at three Swallow-taileds in one field of view! Prior to the current spring there were 72 accepted records for this species in NJ; apparently none involved multiple birds.

Other highlights from this morning's meadows walk included a lovely Horned Lark that dropped onto the dunes while we were looking for the Black-necked Stilt, which we did not find. Three Little Blues, a Tri-colored and a Green Heron, plus the usual snowies and greats, were a nice mix. One of the Little Blues was a funkadelic molting second-year bird, mostly white with patchy blue. One of the two adult Bald Eagles we saw pursued an Osprey, but for once the Osprey got away with the fish. A Yellow-breasted Chat did a brief display for some of the group, and at least 3 Marsh Wrens are now singing along the east path. Three Bonaparte's lingered on the island, but there was sign of neither Roseate nor Arctic Terns, both of which were seen during the WSB on Saturday. The full list from today's walk is below.

Two subadult Mississippi Kites were seen together over the Beanery/Stevens Street yesterday, one browner than the other. With yesterday's strong northwest winds (which undoubtedly contributed to the presence of today's swallow-taileds), there were plenty of other raptors afloat - I saw 2 Cooper's, one Sharp-shinned, several Bald Eagles and Red-taileds, and a few Broad-wingeds in a half-hour scanning.

Location: South Cape May Meadows
Observation date: 5/11/09
Notes: CMBO Monday walk, spectacular!!!
Number of species: 71
Brant 3
Canada Goose 10
Mute Swan 20
Gadwall 5
Mallard 5
Common Loon 3
Northern Gannet 10
Double-crested Cormorant 50
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 5
Little Blue Heron 3
Tricolored Heron 1
Green Heron 1
Glossy Ibis 15
Turkey Vulture 5
Osprey 10
Swallow-tailed Kite 3 Together!! NJ high count
Bald Eagle 2
Black-bellied Plover 5
Semipalmated Plover 15
Piping Plover 8
Killdeer 2
American Oystercatcher 2
Spotted Sandpiper 3
Greater Yellowlegs 15
Willet 2
Lesser Yellowlegs 5
Sanderling 15
Semipalmated Sandpiper 4
Least Sandpiper 25
Dunlin 1
Short-billed Dowitcher 30
Bonaparte's Gull 3
Laughing Gull 90
Ring-billed Gull 4
Herring Gull 10
Great Black-backed Gull 5
Least Tern 50
Common Tern 15
Forster's Tern 225 clicked this species, so this is an actual count or close to it.
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 5
Chimney Swift 20
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 5
Fish Crow 10
Horned Lark 1
Purple Martin 20
Tree Swallow 5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Barn Swallow 25
Carolina Wren 1
Marsh Wren 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 1
Yellow Warbler 2
Common Yellowthroat 3
Yellow-breasted Chat 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 3
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Common Grackle 10
Boat-tailed Grackle 5
Brown-headed Cowbird 10
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 10

No comments: