Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Birds in the Fog

[On the heels of two Sooty Shearwaters, nearly over the breakers, this Roseate Tern flew out of the fog at Stone Harbor Point yesterday afternoon, to the delight of participants in CMBO's Peak of the Red Knots field trip. It lingered a few minutes on the beach, then continued north. Click to enlarge photos.]

Bird lists from yesterday's Peak of the Red Knots field trip are up on Field Trip Reports. I estimated twice the number of shorebirds at the traditional Delaware Bay viewing sites yesterday versus last Thursday. And, with the comming full moon on Friday, there should be a large horseshoe crab spawn and attending birds. Reed's Beach, Cook's Beach (for those with high-clearance vehicles), Kimble's Beach and Norbury's Landing should be awesome for the weekend. The crabs spawn on the high tide (I usually use the tide for Bidwell's Creek entrance as a reference), mainly at night but also during the day at peak times. The birds forage anytime they can but especially on a falling tide.

[Most Sanderlings are in breeding plumage now. This one was at Stone Harbor yesterday.]

[One of two immature male Common Eiders at Stone Harbor yesterday, all the way at the tip of the point. The other one flew past, proving at least it isn't stuck here. At least one immature male Common Eider has summered in the Cape May back bays the past two years, an unusual occurence. Since immatures obviously, well, grow up and develop adult plumage, these are obviously different birds from those of the past years.]

[Clapper Rails were vocal, active and easy to spot on Nummy Island yesterday afternoon, on a wind-blown early high tide.]

I'm again off to Sussex County for our annual volunteer leader's trip (maybe we'll get that grouse this year!), and then to lead a Birding by Ear Workshop (which is full, but we offer it at the end of May every year.) Another great way to enjoy this part of the state is the annual Sussex County Birding Festival, this year on June 5-6. See below for photos and accounts of what the region offered during this year's World Series of Birding.

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