Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Meadows: Black Rail, Least Bittern, Parasitic Jaeger, Gannet

The Black Rail was calling obviously and frequently from the South Cape May Meadows, a.k.a. the TNC Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, today and tonight, heard most recently by Tom Reed at about 8:00 p.m. SPECIAL NOTE: Black Rail is an NJ Endangered Species protected by state law, and in no circumstances can be harassed by any means.

Other Meadows birds tonight included two Yellow-billed Cuckoos, at least one of the Least Bitterns, two Parasitic Jaegers and a Northern Gannet offshore, one near-adult-plumage Lesser Black-backed Gull in the the gull flock that likes to sit on the beach, and more than the normal handful of Black Skimmers. The skimmers, the Black Rail, and Bob's recent King Rail (which he photographed as it crossed the west path) are certainly related to the recent extreme high tides in the coastal marshes of south Jersey, as birds get pushed to find drier ground.

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