Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bunker Pond Goodies

Bunker Pond - the pool in front of the Hawkwatch Platform at Cape May Point State Park - is proving to be the place to be at present, but it seems you have to camp down there to be sure of catching the goodies as migrants pause to rest then continue on their way in a here today gone tomorrow fashion. The three Black-bellied Whistling-ducks obligingly stayed all day and ensured that many a visitor added them to their lists. Shorebirds turned over quite quickly with at least three Pectoral Sandpipers, a White-rumped Sandpiper and two Semipalmated Sandpipers present early on. Later in the day, a fine Long-billed Dowitcher still in pretty much full breeding plumage fed with two Short-billed Dowitchers, offering great opportunities to directly compare the two species. Least, Solitary and Spotted Sandpiper numbers see-sawed throughout the day and up to 11 Great Blue Herons were present in the afternoon. Tree Swallow numbers are starting to build up at several sites now with flocks of up to 100 birds around the state park, Migratory Bird Refuge and other favored sites. Take a look at them and notice how they are now getting that two-toned look to the wings as they reach the point in their annual molt where they suspend the process until they get to their wintering grounds (see the great illustration of this in the Sibley Bird Guide). A couple of reports of a Sandwich Tern drifted in to us from Bunker Pond too - and not surprising given the great show of Common, Forster's and Least Terns there at present. All in all, a great place to be right now.

Looking back on last week's White-faced Ibis report, several observers have commented that the bird looks more likley to be a hybrid White-faced x Glossy Ibis, based mainly on the apparent darkness of the face. Other observers say that the bird looked different in the field so the jury is still out on that one it seems.

No comments: