Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hereford Inlet + Alcid Movement to Our North

[Immature Great Cormorant, from the North Wildwood Sea Wall this morning. Note the massive gray (not orange) bill, white at the base of the bill, and thick neck, all of which separate this species from Double-crested. Click to enlarge all photos.]

Tom Reed sent a message that a substantial alcid movement is occuring to the north of us, with wrecked Dovekies in New York and Massachusetts and over 4000 Razorbills from Montauk on Sunday. Something to think about.

And I was thinking about alcids this morning at Hereford Inlet, though none of the "penguins of the north" appeared. Great Cormorant, Horned Grebes, both loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, and other sea ducks fed near the North Wildwood Seawall, however, and hundreds of Dunlin, Black-bellied Plovers and Sanderling fed on the beach south of the inlet.

[Common Loon, showing its distinctive head shape, with the bumped-forehead look. Almost distincitve; Yellow-billed loon gives a similar look. The loons were catching crabs, bringing them to the surface following long dives.]

[Male Red-breasted Merganser.]

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