Monday, June 29, 2009

Black Rail, 3 YB Cuckoos @ Meadows; News of the Back Bays

Let's put this slightly differently: the Black Rail at the meadows saw a whole bunch of people looking for it again this morning, including a few giving each other high-fives...

CMBO's Monday Meadows walk did not "officially" see the rail, although we certainly heard it well enough from five feet away. I noticed it sometimes trebles its kee's: keekeekeekerr, and somtimes shortens it to just keekerr. Participants who lingered at the spot, which is at the north end of the west path, did see the bird.

Three Yellow-billed Cuckoos showed themselves nicely along the west path, and the Least Bittern, almost an afterthought with all these rare birds around, was glimpsed. Tern numbers were up and included a Gull-billed. We had a Black-bellied Plover and I hear Semipalmated Plover, Least Sandpiper, and Lesser Yellowlegs were also detected this morning. An adult male Blue Grosbeak sang from the wires west of the parking lot, and a chat and White-eyed Vireo were singing from the scrub-shrub west of the west path. The full list from this morning is below, and with today's northwest winds I wonder what else will show up. One bird we oddly did NOT detect was Chimney Swift, can't really explain that one.

Yesterday morning I paddled the back bays behind Wildwood in my kayak, primarily near Taylor's Sound. I saw a newly fledged juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron out on its own. Forster's Terns were nesting, or re-nesting after the flood, on piles of wrack up on the marsh, some Laughing Gulls there have chicks that survived the flooding, and in the heron rookery west of Sunset Lake I noticed two Herring Gulls that I believe have found a way to avoid having their nest flooded: they appear to be nesting on top of a tangle of vines and vegetation up in a tree. Bizarre to see them sitting there.

Location: South Cape May Meadows
Observation date: 6/29/09
Notes: CMBO Monday Meadows Walk. Clicked Common & Forster's; Dave Lord clicked Lagu, Janet Crawford clicked RWBB
Number of species: 58

Canada Goose 50
Mute Swan 30
Gadwall 5
Mallard 50
Least Bittern 1
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 5
Black-crowned Night-Heron 2
Glossy Ibis 5
Black Vulture 1
Turkey Vulture 5
Osprey 10
Black Rail 1
Black-bellied Plover 1
Piping Plover 5
Killdeer 1
American Oystercatcher 6
Laughing Gull 147
Herring Gull 30
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Great Black-backed Gull 50
Least Tern 100
Gull-billed Tern 2
Common Tern 40
Forster's Tern 138
Royal Tern 1
Black Skimmer 1
Rock Pigeon 5
Mourning Dove 10
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3
Willow Flycatcher 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
White-eyed Vireo 1
Fish Crow 25
Purple Martin 50
Tree Swallow 5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Barn Swallow 25
Carolina Wren 5
House Wren 1
Marsh Wren 4
American Robin 25
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 5
Cedar Waxwing 5
Common Yellowthroat 6
Yellow-breasted Chat 1
Field Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 8
Blue Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 1
Red-winged Blackbird 42
Common Grackle 60
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
House Finch 5
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 20

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