Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pectoral Sandpipers, American Kestrel at the State Park

Two Pectoral Sandpipers joined the dowitchers, yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, and Spotted Sandpipers on the second plover pond at Cape May Point State Park. The pecs were my first of "fall." Other shorebirds included 6 Whimbrel flying across the bay before the Bird Walk for All People began, as well as a Piping Plover with 2 tiny chicks on the first plover pond. The Greater Yellowlegs with the bad left leg is still around, today on Bunker Pond..

The female American Kestrel flying down the beach past the Bunker was another first of "fall" for me, although one (this bird?) has been reported before. Winds right at this moment are northwest, so this could be a new one.

Suddenly there are swallows, Tree Swallows mainly - I e-Birded 100 but there easily could have been more.

Perhaps the funniest moment this morning came before the walk when a very new juvenile Snowy Egret flew over, tried to land on a bush near the parking lot and failed, and then landed in the parking lot, standing there and looking around as if to say, "Hey, this isn't water!?" Among the butterflies this morning were a very fresh and lovely American Copper, a Monarch, a Buckeye, and Black and Spicebush Swallowtails.

Our full bird list is below.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 7/30/09
Notes: CMBO Bird Walk for All People. Missed Mute Swan!
Number of species: 57

Canada Goose 40
Mallard 20
Great Blue Heron 1 juv
Great Egret 1
Snowy Egret 1 juv landed in parking lot before walk, all yellow legs and pale bill
Green Heron 1
Glossy Ibis 50
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 2
Osprey 5
American Kestrel 1 female flew down beach towards bunker
Semipalmated Plover 1 heard overhead
Piping Plover 4 2 very small chicks first plover pond
Killdeer 10
American Oystercatcher 2
Spotted Sandpiper 8
Greater Yellowlegs 5
Lesser Yellowlegs 45
Whimbrel 6 flying low across bay before walk
Least Sandpiper 10
Pectoral Sandpiper 2
Short-billed Dowitcher 15
Laughing Gull 75 sev juvs
Herring Gull 10
Great Black-backed Gull 10
Least Tern 75
Gull-billed Tern 1
Common Tern 100
Forster's Tern 1
Royal Tern 1 before walk
Black Skimmer 40
Rock Pigeon 10
Northern Flicker 2
Eastern Kingbird 2
Fish Crow 5
Purple Martin 100
Tree Swallow 100
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 5
Barn Swallow 25
Carolina Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 5
Carolina Wren 5
House Wren 1
American Robin 10
Northern Mockingbird 6
European Starling 10
Cedar Waxwing 15
Yellow Warbler 2 overhead
Common Yellowthroat 3
Song Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 2
Indigo Bunting 2
Red-winged Blackbird 25
Common Grackle 5
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 10

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