Friday, June 18, 2010

Evening at Stone Harbor Point

[Flounder for dinner? Osprey young hatch asynchronously, hence the little guy peeking through mom's legs will only get leavings (and may not survive) unless dad is an especially skilled fisherman - somewhere I read a brood of 3 Ospreys needs 5 pounds of fish per day. The fish is indeed a fluke or summer flounder. Grassy Sound, near Wildwood, last night. Click to enlarge photos.]

Stone Harbor Point is a quiet place these days, other than the piping of American Oystercatchers, though the fact I was there near dark may have contributed. There seems to be no nesting activity by terns or Black Skimmers on the point at all, and this year Champagne Island is reduced to a series of sandbars in Hereford Inlet. Terns coming off the ocean at sundown headed inland, both Commons and Forster's, likely to nesting colonies up on wrack on the high marsh inland of the intracoastal waterway. There were a few Least Terns sitting just above the high tide line at dark, and since I haven't been to Stone Harbor in a month I can't say for sure whether they are nesting nearby. Of skimmers I saw none, and only a single Royal Tern flew by. There were, at least, hundreds of gulls, a Piping Plover, and a few shorebirds.

[Royal Tern flyby. Note the white feather in the forehead - Royals sport a black cap for only a short period at the height of breeding season.]

[A few Sanderlings foraged on the beach, birds that should be in the Arctic. Some were in full breeding plumage.]

[Nor will these two Red Knots make the trip. Happily, it was a good season overall for the shorebirds.]

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