Monday, July 5, 2010

Yellow Warbler + Shorebirds at the Meadows

A Yellow Warbler along the dune at the South Cape May Meadows a.k.a. TNC Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge this morning is right on schedule to be a southbound migrant; Yellow is usually the earliest warbler migrant at Cape May. Vince Elia tells me he's had Yellows breeding at Cape Island Preserve, but they haven't been at the meadows that I know of.

Other highlights of this morning's CMBO meadows walk included a first year male Blue Grosbeak with a female near the parking lot, as well as another, an adult male, at the SE corner of the trails there. It was heartening to see 2 very young American Oystercatcher chicks, which had been thought gone (meaning dead), as well as a juvenile Piping Plover - juv's have all dark bills. More Least Tern chicks have hatched, and the Black Skimmers are still by their scrapes, though exactly what they are up to remains to be proven. A Royal Tern flew past, the first I've seen in some time. After two years with significant colonies at Champagne Island, Royals are not nesting in NJ this year, as far as I know. A Black-billed Cuckoo put in a fleeting appearance in the shrubs at the center of the meadows, and at least 2 Bobolinks passed overhead, one a black-bellied male. We had several groups of yellowlegs, only one with a Greater in it, and about 8 Least Sandpipers, to which you can add Richard Crossley's Western Sandpiper and hendersoni Short-billed Dowitchers, also at the meadows from earlier in the morning.

The full list from the meadows walk and other recent trips are available on Field Trip Reports.

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