Monday, July 6, 2009

Sandwich Tern, Western Willets and Beachnesters at Stone Harbor Pt.

An evening visit to Stone Harbor Point provided many highlights on an incoming tide, a few of which are pictured below. It appears as though many Common Terns and Black Skimmers have moved from Champagne Island to the south end of the Point, as Champagne has largely been reclaimed by the sea again this year. The new colony at Stone Harbor appears rather susceptible to high tides- tonight's full moon tide was edging in on the colony an hour before the scheduled high water mark, and forced me to make a hasty retreat back along the beachfront through standing water.

As would be expected, it appeared as though the majority of birds on eggs were Black Skimmers and Common Terns. I wasn't able to determine whether or not there were any Royal Terns actually nesting, but looking directly into the evening sun, I certainly didn't study the colony as well as I would've liked. While walking- or more appropriately, wading back, a Sandwich Tern flew over and headed up the channel toward the Nummy Island free bridge. 5 "Western" Willets were feeding along the back side of the Point with a single Ruddy Turnstone, and 83 American Oystercatchers were scattered along the western edge of the Point, as well. Many of these are certainly failed breeding birds from various locations along the coast, including the Hereford Inlet complex.

[This Gull-billed Tern was part of a pair that was hunting along the water's edge for the better part of an hour this evening. The pair was also occasionally seen within the nesting colony, but didn't show any serious signs of breeding. Photo by Tom Reed][Here is just one of the almost 80 Royal Terns that came in to Stone Harbor Point by sundown, as more and more arrived with the incoming full moon tide. There were plenty of Royals lounging around the tern/skimmer colony, but very few that looked to actually be nesting. Photo by Tom Reed]

[These three Brown Pelicans flew in off the ocean from the south and continued into Great Channel, at one point flying over the Nummy Island toll bridge before finally settling on the remnants of Champagne Island, where they joined two others. Photo by Tom Reed.]
[A few of the approximately 350 Black Skimmers at the south end of
Stone Harbor Point this evening. Photo by Tom Reed]

Location: Stone Harbor Point
Observation date: 7/6/09
Number of species: 38

Brown Pelican 5
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 2
Snowy Egret 1
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 1
Glossy Ibis 1
Osprey 2
Semipalmated Plover 3
Piping Plover 2
American Oystercatcher 83
Willet (Western) 5
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Laughing Gull 800
Ring-billed Gull 8
Herring Gull 150
Great Black-backed Gull 60
Least Tern 26
Gull-billed Tern 2
Common Tern 239
Forster's Tern 7
Royal Tern 78
Sandwich Tern 1
Black Skimmer 334
Mourning Dove 1
Fish Crow 2
Barn Swallow 4
American Robin 3
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 10
Yellow Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 2
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Common Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
House Sparrow 6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

No comments: