Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sandwich and Black Terns in the Rips, Baltimore Orioles, New Plovers

There was no shortage of terns in Cape May Point today, that's for sure, and before our 8:30 a.m. walk Kyle Rossner and I found both Black and Sandwich Terns feeding out in the rips, with 2 Brown Pelicans and hundreds of Common and Forster's Terns. During the walk itself a nice little shorebird movement was evident, with passing Semipalmated Plovers, dowitchers, both yellowlegs, and Semipalmated, Least, Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers. Three Western Willets spent time on the beach, and presumably two of them wound up in the second plover pond. The three Baltimore Orioles we found nectaring on trumpet creeper were also migrants, or at least wanderers, as they do not nest south of the canal.

All the state park Piping Plover nests have failed to produce surviving young this year so far, but there are 2 pairs re-nesting, or were - one of the re-nests hatched very recently, and we saw the parents with 4 tiny downy young near the second plover pond.

The full list follows, including a few birds seen before the walk began.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 7/16/09
Notes: CMBO Bird Walk for All People
Number of species: 62

Mute Swan 15
Mallard 10
Brown Pelican 2
Great Egret 1
Snowy Egret 5
Glossy Ibis 15
Osprey 1
Semipalmated Plover 5
Piping Plover 6 Pair with 4 very new downy chicks at 2nd plover pond
Killdeer 5
American Oystercatcher 3
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Solitary Sandpiper 1
Greater Yellowlegs 2
Willet (Western) 4
Lesser Yellowlegs 10
Semipalmated Sandpiper 5
Least Sandpiper 15
Short-billed Dowitcher 15
Laughing Gull 200
Ring-billed Gull 5
Herring Gull 10
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Great Black-backed Gull 20
Least Tern 69
Black Tern 1 Before walk. Breeding plumage.
Common Tern 300 wing molt evident in some
Forster's Tern 100 first flying juveniles of summer for me at state park
Royal Tern 2
Sandwich Tern 1 before walk
Black Skimmer 2
Rock Pigeon 5
Mourning Dove 10
Chimney Swift 15
Eastern Kingbird 2
Blue Jay 2
Fish Crow 25
Purple Martin 148
Tree Swallow 5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 10
Barn Swallow 10
Carolina Chickadee 5
Carolina Wren 1
House Wren 1
American Robin 15
Northern Mockingbird 5
European Starling 20
Cedar Waxwing 10
Yellow Warbler 3
Pine Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 3
Northern Cardinal 2
Blue Grosbeak 2
Indigo Bunting 1
Red-winged Blackbird 15
Common Grackle 10
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
Orchard Oriole 2
Baltimore Oriole 3 poss. family group apparently nectaring on trumpet creeper, does not nest on cape island
House Finch 5
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 20

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