[Double-crested Cormorants were moving this morning despite the northwest wind. The bottom right bird is not a corm, however. . .Click to enlarge.]
The northwest wind faded only slightly for this morning's CMBO meadows walk, which featured a female American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, both teal, Glossy Ibis, and especially the Northern Gannet and Red-throated Loon show off Cape May Point, where easily 300 gannets milled and occasionally plunged along with 50+ Red-throated Loons. Several breeding plumage Common Loons were in evidence, along with two pairs of American Oystercatchers, and half a dozen or more Piping Plovers. At least 5 Common Yellowthroats were audible and apparently on territory - one sat up nicely for scope views - and we heard two White-eyed Vireos as well. The full list, along with reports from several of this past weekend's expeditions, is up on Field Trip Reports.
At Sunset Beach pre-walk, I counted 218 gannets in 10 minutes, mainly flying into the wind, i.e. into the bay, not out of it as they normally do. Scoters were difficult to detect unless they flew, because of the chop, but a few Black Scoters at least were evident.
Last night a check of the mouth of Townsend's Inlet, north of Avalon, revealed significant numbers of herons and egrets roosting in phragmites inland from the inlet, viewed from the park north of the inlet looking west. The collection included Great and Snowy Egrets, Black-crowned Night-herons, and at least one Tricolored Heron, but was difficult to count due to the dense phrag. Herons sometimes nest on the ground in phragmites stands on old dredge spoil - we see this on our summer boat tours of Great Egg Harbor Bay out of Somer's Point - and this stand bears watching for that, although it is fairly accessible by boaters and possibly predators from the mainland.
Glen Davis sent word of a Common Tern at St. Peters this morning, an arriving bird I believe.