Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Heading to Brigantine

This coming Saturday, December 10th, sees the first of our two regular winter excursions to Brigantine (or the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (Brigantine Division) if you want its full name!). This is a full day birding excursion and - as usual - promises to be a great day out.  Brigantine hosts large numbers of Black Ducks, Snow Geese and a whole host of other waterfowl during the winter and never fails to provide some nice surprises. On a recent trip there recently with friends, we enjoyed a super adult male Lapland Longspur at point blank range on the main trail. Our trip finishes overlooking Mott's Creek which over the years has been one of the more reliable sites for wintering Short-eared Owls. A couple of recent cancellations has left us with a few spare places, so if you want to be in on the fun, contact Chris Tonkinson at 609-861-0700 for registration details.

Other bird news
Most of the messages of the last few days have involved the male Painted Bunting which continues today on Bayshore Road, just north of the Hidden Valley Riding Center. The Ash-throated Flycatcher continues today at Cape Island Preserve and at least one adult male Eurasian Wigeon is on Lighthouse Pond East with Blue-winged Teals. Baltimore Orioles continue to pop up in a variety of places (one is outside my Northwood Center window right now in fact!) and Jim Dowdell reported a very late Northern Waterthrush at the Cape Island Preserve today.

The Avalon Seawatch continues to produce a trickle of Razorbills with Tom Reed reporting eight this morning. Yesterday, an unidentified whale species was close inshore off Townsend's Inlet but hasn't been reported yet today. It was accompanied by three Parasitic Jaegers.

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