Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekend Catch-up

It might be late June, but the birds at Cape May just keep coming and, as I commented a short while back, it's a time for strange things to turn up! The Eurasian Collared Dove seems to have settled into a routine of hanging out on the east side of the residential are at Cape May Point, currently still favoring the blocks between Whilldin and Lehigh Avenues. No word of the Purple Gallinule yet this morning but it has been favoring the furthest pool in the State Park, just north of the plover ponds. The two Black-necked Stilts seemed to move on and were only here for the one day, while Sunday also provided a Mississippi Kite for those viewing the stilts.

A few oddities continue to pop up and sing here and there, including a first-year male Summer Tanager in the State Park on Saturday and a Northern Parula singing near the Northwood Center on Saturday and still present as I type...

Some 50 or so Wilson's Storm-petrels were logged off the point on Sunday while I heard a rumor of a count of 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls around the beaches on Saturday. Scott Whittle has reported 10 Brown Pelicans heading past the point this morning, continuing a run of sightings of this species over the past few days. Whilst at one of our favorite crab shacks on Saturday evening, we were a little surprised to see at least 14 Willets flying around over the saltmarsh - a shame if they were all failed breeders. Breeders that have faired better include the local American Oystercatchers (as seen below) but the Least Tern colony is being systematically eaten by a local gang of 10 or so Fish Crows that have worked out there's an easy meal to be had...

Even little wings need stretching! This still downy oystercatcher chick is certainly putting on the pounds now!

Monday walks at the Meadows always turn up interesting birds; this Eastern Kingbird was a nice talking point recently, having chosen to nest rather prominently in a mulberry there. No need to get out of bed for a snack!

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