Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Northern Bobwhite at State Park & Black Skimmer News

Karl Lukens just reported a calling Northern Bobwhite on a fence post at Cape May Point State Park near the first dune crossover.

Todd Pover, beach nesting bird biologist with the state, sent me the following somewhat heartening note about the Black Skimmer colony in Hereford Inlet. It seems some skimmers are giving it a go on Stone Harbor Point:

"Just as a brief update, now that Champagne Island is largely unsuitable for nesting due to recent storms (too low and small), Black Skimmers have finally starting to amass on the southern tip of Stone Harbor Point (just a stone's throw away from the island). They had been flying over for about a week or so, but just earlier this week about 200 settled in and we now have our first nests. I expect that number to continue to grow. The Point is also flood prone, but the habitat is not bad - better than Champagne for the last 2 years - so we'll see how it goes. Also, on the plus side, no apparent mammalian predators on the Point so far this spring. We've had our first successful oystercatcher nests at the Point in some years and the plover nests that didn't get flooded are hatching (and chicks hanging in there). A small number of common terns are also nesting with the skimmers, and a handful of royal terns are lingering. If the royals plan to nest they best do so soon - timing wise they should be close to hatching by now.

"With regard to the royal terns, I have heard from folks in MD, where our "Champagne" terns likely originally came from - I figured they might have gone back there this year. Apparently, their numbers are way down too because of unsuitable habitat. Royals will travel far to nest so they could be further south, but could you get word out around NJAS, especially anybody who goes out on the boat in the back bay to keep their eyes out for royal terns that might be nesting. - Todd"

No comments: