Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anhinga, Greater Shearwater, Black Rail (no) News

[Male Anhinga, 10:30 a.m. today over Sea Grove Avenue. Photo by Michael O'Brien, click to enlarge.]

A Greater Shearwater fairly close offshore near the Bunker at Cape May Point State Park was present shortly before the Anhinga above was found. The shearwater apparently sat on the water for a while. I wouldn't know, my sunscreen must contain shearwater repellent this year. Anhinga repellent, too. It should be mentioned that Anhingas are darn rare, with 4 records for the county through 1997 per Sibley's The Birds of Cape May. I haven't yet dug through the records to see how many since.

Several Wilson's Storm-petrels danced about in the rips, with a high but uncounted number of terns and plenty of dolphins. The usual good stuff at the State Park continues: several each of chats, Blue Grosbeaks, Orchard Orioles, and Indigo Buntings. A Killdeer with 4 babies lured Fish Crows with a distraction display near the first plover pond, and all the beach nesters mentioned below were well represented, along with 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

The Black Rail at the TNC Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, a.k.a. the meadows, gets mixed reviews - it was reported as heard calling three times shortly before 8 p.m. last night, but people listening for it this morning, as far as I have been told, came up short.

Finally, a Yellow Warbler's flight note over the state park's parking lot represents, at least for me, the first southbound passerine of fall.

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