Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sultry Days

With temperatures shooting sky-high here at the moment - with the humidity factored in it reached 116F yesterday I'm told! - it's not surprising that folks are keeping in the shade and bird reports have been a little thin from the point of late. But migration is certainly taking place, as the busy groups of shorebirds attest - so too the occasional Yellow Warbler I'm hearing over my house after dark. It seems that the real spectacle at present is up at Brigantine, where the shorebird spectacle is peaking right now with good numbers of all the regular species being augmented with the likes of a Wilson's Phalarope and no less than eight American Avocets. In addition, it has been possible to see three species of ibis there in recent days, with single White and White-faced Ibises joining the Glossy Ibis gatherings.

A never-ending stream of emails, paperwork and any manner of other excuses all seem to be conspiring to keep me out of the field at the moment so do let us know about your sightings if you are birding in the area. Our good friend Beth Polvino continues to enjoy birds at her favorite locations and recently sent me the following collection of photos, all of which sum up those lazy, hazey days at the beach in July.

Small numbers of Piping Plovers still hang out at the South Beach, but it's too late now to replace broods lost to Fish Crows; Piping Plovers have not had a good year unfortunately.

Time for this Piping Plover to have a good old scratch...

..which is something that seems to be infectious! A real close look reveals brown tips to the black feathers on this American Oystercatcher, showing it to be one of this year's youngsters.

Lift Off! With the Fish Crows having moved to pastures new of late, the Least Terns are managing to hatch a few eggs and this youngster is now taking its first tentative flaps across the sand.

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