Saturday, July 3, 2010

Red-breasted Nuthatches, Shorebirds

Maybe the funnest report of the week is from Sam Galick, who had 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches from the dike at Higbee Beach WMA yesterday morning. This is fun because RBNU is a funny bird, just in general, and also because they don't nest in Cape May (with very rare exceptions) and were pretty scarce in their traditional northern NJ nesting sites this past year, and yet here we are, early July and we've got a couple migrants. It does jive well with what we saw a few weeks ago in Vermont, where in some spots RBNU were vermin. Bodes well for a nuthatch flight year.

Come to think of it, it's also funny that SG, former Morning Flight counter, is sick enough to check on the dike flight on JULY 2, albeit winds were out of the north. . .

Vince Elia had a Black-billed Cuckoo at the State Park and a number of shorebirds at the meadows today, including 32 Least Sandpipers and one each of Solitary Sandpiper (first southbound I've heard of), Spotted Sandpiper, and Semipalmated Plover. Add to that a Belted Kingfisher and 8 Great Blue Herons at the back of Bunker Pond, I'm guessing mostly non-breeding one-year olds. Vince told me yesterday that the White-rumped Sandpiper hanging out in the meadows of late is missing an eye - "ol' one-eye" from now on.

I've been mostly holed up at home, avoiding shore traffic and enjoying American Robins hover-gleaning black cherries from the tree in the yard, with maybe 6-8 other species drawn to the bounty. The tree makes a mess, so do the birds come to think of it, but there is perhaps no better wildlife tree than black cherry. We did make a kayak trip into Stite's Sound, north of the Avalon causeway, where a Gull-billed Tern and singing Saltmarsh Sparrows were the most notable sightings.

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