Monday, July 20, 2009

Uppie, White-winged Scoter

Before this morning's meadows walk began, I had an Upland Sandpiper fly over the TNC parking lot, headed northwest i.e. towards Higbee, or Pond Creek. Uppies trickle through beginning in late June - such a small trickle it was great to see this one.

A very contrasting bird was the White-winged Scoter floating off Norbury's Landing last night.

Yesterday morning three Western Sandpipers, apparent females based on their bills, flew past me at Alexander Avenue, briefly joining two Western Willets before outdistancing them and continuing across the bay. Four Brown Pelicans flew over the state park, and I heard about Greater Shearwater in the rips and a migrant Worm-eating Warbler seen from the Higbee Dike by Tony Leukering. Now's the time to begin thinking about those ultra early migrants after every cold front, although it doesn't really pick up passerine wise until August. Louisiana Waterthrush and Ovenbird are two others to look for in late July - neither breed on Cape Island, so if you find one south of the canal, it's a migrant.

We found the continuing Black Scoter on this morning's walk, standing on the beach off the meadows. Remarkably, we missed Forster's Tern this morning, crazy. There were plenty of other birds to keep us occupied, however. Nothing outlandish, just a nice trickle of migrants plus the locals. The male Bobolink sitting up on a reed at the start of the walk was a highlight; the idiotic jogger who ran along the dune and through the tern colony was definitely not. I yelled to chase him out of there, but he just veered off and kept going. When we reported the incident to TNC staff, we learned they had an encounter with perhaps the same individual yesterday. They are watching for him.

Other observations including plenty of young swallows accompanying parents, mostly Purple Martins and Barns, and a more or less expected assortment of shorebirds. The full list from this morning follows.

Location: South Cape May Meadows
Observation date: 7/20/09
Notes: CMBO Monday Meadows Walk
Number of species: 70

Canada Goose 150
Mute Swan 28
Gadwall 10
Mallard 25
Black Scoter 1
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 8
Snowy Egret 5
Green Heron 3
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1 pre-walk
Glossy Ibis 30
Black Vulture 1
Turkey Vulture 5
Osprey 5
Black-bellied Plover 1
Semipalmated Plover 1
Piping Plover 5
Killdeer 25
American Oystercatcher 3
Spotted Sandpiper 5
Greater Yellowlegs 5
Willet 2
Lesser Yellowlegs 10
Upland Sandpiper 1 flyover pre-walk
Least Sandpiper 25
Short-billed Dowitcher 15
Laughing Gull X
Ring-billed Gull 5
Herring Gull 50
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Great Black-backed Gull 50
Least Tern 50
Common Tern 35 missed forster's!
Royal Tern 1
Black Skimmer 1
Rock Pigeon 10
Mourning Dove 25
Chimney Swift 35
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 1
Eastern Kingbird 5
White-eyed Vireo 1
American Crow 10
Fish Crow 20
Purple Martin 50
Tree Swallow 5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 5
Bank Swallow 5
Barn Swallow 20
Tufted Titmouse 1
Carolina Wren 5
House Wren 1
Marsh Wren 2
American Robin 15
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling 25
Cedar Waxwing 10
Yellow Warbler 5
Common Yellowthroat 6
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 5
Indigo Bunting 1 pre-walk
Bobolink 15 incl male in body molt in scope
Red-winged Blackbird 30
Common Grackle 8
Brown-headed Cowbird 10
House Finch 5
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 25

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