Tuesday, June 30, 2009

State Park: 2 Sandwich Terns, Black Tern, Cory's Shearwater

There was both great weather and great birding at the State Park this evening. Highlights included two Sandwich Terns that were picked by Bob Fogg as they flew over us near the 2nd Plover Pond around 6:30pm and continued east over the Meadows. Soon after, I picked up on a distant Cory's Shearwater heading out of the bay. A Wilson's Storm-Petrel appeared around the same time, feeding in the "rips" in the company of a large mixed flock of terns and Laughing Gulls. Other birds noted offshore included a couple of Brown Pelicans and a Northern Gannet.

Closer to sundown, a Black Tern appeared just offshore and eventually landed on the beach with a flock of Common Terns. This bird was an immature, not at all like the adult bird from yesterday. Also on the beach was an increased number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls- at least eight, and quite likely more. There had been, at most, three or four LesserBacks in the area for the past month, so it will be interesting to see if more continue to appear.

In the migrant department, two Semipalmated Plovers made a brief visit, and a Semipalmated Sandpiper stayed for a while longer in the Plover Ponds. I briefly glimpsed a possible White-rumped Sandpiper as it zipped by. Piping Plovers were easy to see and hear this evening.

The beach between the State Park and the Meadows is crawling with Least Terns, and interestingly, a number of Common Terns have taken up residence here, along with a small group of Black Skimmers. While it is a bit late in the breeding season, the Commons were actively engaging in courtship behavior, and a couple of pairs were even copulating. Will they try to nest there? Stay tuned.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 6/30/09
Number of species: 61

Canada Goose 25
Mute Swan 9
Wood Duck 1
Gadwall 2
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1
Mallard 12
Cory's Shearwater 1
Wilson's Storm-Petrel 1
Northern Gannet 1
Brown Pelican 2
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Great Egret 1
Snowy Egret 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1
Glossy Ibis 4
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 3
Semipalmated Plover 2
Piping Plover 6
Killdeer 2
American Oystercatcher 8
Semipalmated Sandpiper 1
Laughing Gull 300
Ring-billed Gull 4
Herring Gull 50
Lesser Black-backed Gull 8
Great Black-backed Gull 80
Least Tern 130
Black Tern 1
Common Tern 90
Forster's Tern 80
Royal Tern 8
Sandwich Tern 2
Black Skimmer 20
Rock Pigeon 4
Mourning Dove 6
Chimney Swift 5
Willow Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 2
Fish Crow 3
Purple Martin 40
Tree Swallow 4
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 4
Barn Swallow 8
Carolina Wren 1
American Robin 3
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 6
Cedar Waxwing 1
Yellow Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Indigo Bunting 1
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Common Grackle 6
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Orchard Oriole 1
House Finch 2
House Sparrow 6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org

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