Sunday, February 28, 2010

Context for Spring

[Looks like the Adirondacks or Canada, but in fact it's East Creek Lake in Belleplain yesterday, click to enlarge all photos.]

I took a wander through snowy-clean and pristine Belleplain State Forest yesterday, hiking about 3.5 miles and spending a good three hours. Here's my bird list from the expedition:

Location: Belleplain State Forest
Observation date: 2/27/10
Notes: Walked East Creek Trail and Tom Field Road. 6-8 inches of snow on ground except melted areas.
Number of species: 14

Hooded Merganser 12
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Black Vulture 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Carolina Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet 6
Hermit Thrush 2
American Robin 150
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1

Not overwhelming, but interesting nonetheless. Only a month or so until the first Louisiana Waterthrush!

Karl Lukens et. al. garnered the two Eurasian Wigeon, a Peregrine on the Water Tower, and a nice mix of ducks et. al. on Saturday's Cape May Point Walk; details on Field Trip Reports. Tony Leukering reported a movement of Snow Geese across the bay yesterday, heading north.

[Script in the snow, courtesy of a white-footed mouse who ventured from below the snow (tracks top left), plowed around a bit, then said forget this and headed back under.]

In the afternoon I visited Avalon, which held all the usuals of late, meaning Harlequins, Common Eiders, Purple Sandpiper, Great Cormorant, etc. Four Green-winged Teal flying south past the jetty reminded me a bit of October, and an American Bittern flying over the marsh on the west side of Avalon was a nice surprise and I think my first since fall.

[Dunlin with Sanderlings, gliding in for a landing. Avalon yesterday.]

[Spring on the way - Red-winged Blackbirds were lined up along all the causeways yesterday - Avalon, Stone Harbor, Nummy Island - singing away. This one persisted into evening at Nummy, with the full moon behind.]

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