At the State Park this morning, fall continues to head our way as we found little mixed parties of this year's youngsters feeding through the tree tops - House Wrens, Pine Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice and a Downy Woodpecker were all in the mix. Visible migration included at least six Ruby-throated Hummingbirds flashing overhead and a party of three Blue-gray Gnatcatchers heading east. Single adult Black-crowned Night Heron and juvenile Green Heron added to the variety. As for local birds - Black Skimmers ferried fish over toward the beach so it may be that chicks have hatched there. The regular Yellow-breasted Chat gave stunning views yet again and a family of young Orchard Orioles mooched around the Trumpet Creeper flowers (we saw two smart males too). A single Wood Duck remains on Lighthouse Pond. Interesting to note that we saw no Ospreys on the walk this morning, though they may have still been drying out after the overnight storm. Certainly there are still plenty around and I'm told that the nest right next to North Wildwood Boulevard (Route 147 across the saltmarsh to the barrier islands) has some chunky, fluffy youngsters sitting in it.
Lake Lily has been cleaned of dead fish to some extent, though a good number at the north end are still making the area pretty smelly. We've not yet had an update on the cause, though sample testing can take time.
Yesterday's White-faced Ibis at the Migratory Bird Refuge [Photo by Karl Lukens]
OK, we've featured the Yellow-breasted Chat at the State Park a lot, but he is a real beauty! This morning his song seemed to have renewed vigor and I wonder whether a second brood is on the way. Though I walk the trail regularly, I have not seen any young but the bird has regularly been pestered by Brown-headed Cowbirds and I wonder if the first nest was parasitized. [Photo by Karl Lukens]
A sure sign of fall - Tree Swallows lining up on the Plover Ponds fence [Photo by Karl Lukens]