Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wigeon Continues; State Park Birds

[This hatch-year probable male Prairie Warbler brightened the Yellow Trail at Cape May Point State Park. The white split eye-ring makes it a hatch-year (adults have yellow there) and the strong markings make it a likely male. Photo by Don Freiday, click to enlarge.]

The Eurasian Wigeon was still present on Lighthouse Pond at Cape May Point State Park this morning - there is some discussion as to whether it is a bright female or a young male. It is definitely bright enough, warm cinnamon brown on the flanks and head, to be easy to pick out.

I made a point of doing actual counts on the waterfowl at the park. Here are some of the numbers:

Canada Goose 131 actual count
Mute Swan 34 actual count
Gadwall 43 actual count
Eurasian Wigeon 1 young male or bright female
American Wigeon 167 actual count
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 54 actual count
Northern Shoveler 58
Ruddy Duck 29 actual count
Pied-billed Grebe 11 actual count (not technically waterfowl)

Other highlights at the park included Prairie Warbler and Yellow-billed Cuckoo, both late or possibly reverse migrants. Three Blackpolls and a Palm rounded out the non-Yellow-rumped warblers. Raptor movement was minimal, but included a Red-shouldered Hawk, 2 Harriers, and several accipiters. An adult Bald Eagle was hanging around.

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