Monday, April 30, 2012

April Review

Three trips to Brigantine, a day at Sandy Hook, a walk around Prospect Park, visits to county parks and my birding routine around the WMA and Crestwood Village, plus looking out the window a lot, all added up to a successful month with 115 species including 30 FOY.

The highlights this month:
Seeing the whip-poor-will fly at dusk.
Observing the Red-breasted Nuthatch digging out its nest, spitting saw dust out the hole.
Finally finding the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Cape May.
Peter showing me the fledgling Great Horned Owl in Prospect Park.
And watching the Cattle Egret doing battle with a frog (or was it a toad?) yesterday at Brig.

And yet, the kvetch: Not a lot of warblers, still no night-herons, black or yellow-crowned. I'll get 'em next month.

Species                 First Sighting
Snow Goose        Brigantine
Brant        Brigantine
Canada Goose        Brigantine
Mute Swan      Cape May Meadows
Wood Duck        Brigantine
Gadwall        Brigantine
American Black Duck        Brigantine
Mallard        Brigantine
Blue-winged Teal        Brigantine
Northern Shoveler        Brigantine
Green-winged Teal        Brigantine
Ring-necked Duck        Whiting WMA
Surf Scoter      Cape May Meadows
White-winged Scoter        Sandy Hook
Bufflehead        Brigantine
Red-breasted Merganser        Brigantine
Ruddy Duck        Cape May Hawkwatch
Wild Turkey        Whiting WMA
Common Loon        Cattus Island County Park
Horned Grebe        Cattus Island County Park
Northern Gannet      Cape May Meadows
Double-crested Cormorant        Brigantine
Great Blue Heron        Cape May Point SP
Great Egret        Brigantine
Snowy Egret        Brigantine
Little Blue Heron        Cattus Island County Park
Cattle Egret        Brigantine
Glossy Ibis        Brigantine
Black Vulture      Cape May Meadows
Turkey Vulture        Crestwood Village
Osprey        Brigantine
Bald Eagle        Brigantine
Northern Harrier        Brigantine
Cooper's Hawk        35 Sunset Rd
Red-tailed Hawk      Cape May Meadows
American Kestrel        Whiting WMA
Merlin        Sandy Hook
Peregrine Falcon        Brigantine
American Coot        Brigantine
Black-bellied Plover        Brigantine
American Oystercatcher        Higbees Beach
Spotted Sandpiper        Prospect Park
Greater Yellowlegs        Brigantine
Willet        Brigantine
Lesser Yellowlegs        Brigantine
Semipalmated Sandpiper        Brigantine
Dunlin        Brigantine
Short-billed Dowitcher        Brigantine
Bonaparte's Gull        Sandy Hook
Laughing Gull      Cape May Meadows
Ring-billed Gull        Brigantine
Herring Gull        Brigantine
Great Black-backed Gull        Brigantine
Caspian Tern        Brigantine
Forster's Tern        Cape May Hawkwatch
Rock Pigeon        Iselin
Eurasian Collared-Dove        Lincoln Ave
Mourning Dove        Brigantine
Great Horned Owl        Prospect Park
Eastern Whip-poor-will        35 Sunset Rd
Chimney Swift        Brigantine
Belted Kingfisher        Cattus Island County Park
Red-bellied Woodpecker        Brigantine
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker        Crossley Preserve
Downy Woodpecker        Whiting WMA
Northern Flicker        Iselin
Eastern Phoebe        Whiting WMA
Eastern Kingbird        Whiting WMA
Blue Jay        Brigantine
American Crow        Brigantine
Fish Crow        Brigantine
Northern Rough-winged Swallow       Lighthouse Pond
Purple Martin        Brigantine
Tree Swallow        Brigantine
Barn Swallow      Cape May Meadows
Carolina Chickadee        Brigantine
Tufted Titmouse        Brigantine
Red-breasted Nuthatch        Crestwood Village
White-breasted Nuthatch        Crestwood Village
Brown Creeper        Whiting WMA
Carolina Wren        Brigantine
House Wren        Whiting WMA
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher        Estell Manor Park
Golden-crowned Kinglet        Whiting WMA
Ruby-crowned Kinglet        Whiting WMA
Eastern Bluebird        Whiting WMA
Hermit Thrush        Sandy Hook
American Robin        Brigantine
Gray Catbird        Brigantine
Northern Mockingbird      Cape May Meadows
European Starling        Crestwood Village
Cedar Waxwing        Sandy Hook
Northern Waterthrush        Prospect Park
Common Yellowthroat        Whiting WMA
Yellow Warbler        Crossley Preserve
Palm Warbler        Whiting WMA
Pine Warbler        Crestwood Village
Yellow-rumped Warbler        Crestwood Village
Eastern Towhee        Whiting WMA
Chipping Sparrow        Brigantine
Field Sparrow        Sandy Hook
Savannah Sparrow      Great Bay Bvld. WMA
Song Sparrow        Brigantine
Swamp Sparrow        Prospect Park
White-throated Sparrow        Brigantine
Dark-eyed Junco        35 Sunset Rd
Northern Cardinal        Brigantine
Red-winged Blackbird        Brigantine
Common Grackle        Crestwood Village
Boat-tailed Grackle        Brigantine
Brown-headed Cowbird        Brigantine
House Finch        Brigantine
American Goldfinch        Brigantine
House Sparrow        Iselin



Whiting WMA 4/30--Eastern Kingbird

I've been exploring farther and farther in to the WMA and discovered that often I'm not technically in the WMA but have crossed over to the Crossley Preserve, which once was a clay mining site, not used since the early 20th century. The boundaries are indistinct. The preserve is huge: on Saturday, Shari & I were exploring another part of it two miles from where I ended up this morning.  Today, I went looking for a pond I saw on the Google map. It was off a road that was off a road that I've only walked on a few times. Past the dumped rugs and children's basket ball set, past the broken sink and toilet seat, past the ineffectual "No Dumping" sign, I found a huge pond hidden away. It could be another old clay pit, or it could be the result of a beaver dam, or it could be naturally occurring, I have no way of knowing. Beautiful spot, I should bring a camera. I was thinking it might be good in winter for ducks, or very early in the morning for warblers, but then it seemed pretty empty. Until I saw movement to my right and spotted a big black & white bird perched on a dead limb. Immediately I knew it was a flycatcher and it was too big to be a phoebe and it wasn't pumping its tail either. It hawked a bug, I saw the white border on its tail and knew I had my first Eastern Kingbird of the year.

I got a late start today, most birds had already done their morning work, so aside from the kingbird, nothing new or of note. I'll sum up the month in the next post.
16 species
Mallard  6
Mourning Dove  7
Eastern Kingbird  1    Pond on Crossley Preserve
Blue Jay  3
Fish Crow  1
Tree Swallow  6    Pair has taken over Wood Duck box.
Carolina Chickadee  8
Tufted Titmouse  10
Eastern Bluebird  3
American Robin  12
Eastern Towhee  15
Chipping Sparrow  24
Northern Cardinal  5
Common Grackle  4
House Finch  3
American Goldfinch  3

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brigantine 4/29--CAEG, WILL, SESA, CATE, CHSW, YEWA

Brigantine was actually Plan C today. Originally, we were going to Cattus Island, where I'd seen some warblers reported, but when we got there the parking lot was overflowing and we being directed to a grassy area to park. Turned out that Starbucks was sponsoring a beach clean-up and I guess every participant was eligible for a free latte or something. So that put the kibosh on that idea.

Our fallback plan was to go down to Tuckerton and Great Bay Blvd. When we got there, though, we ran headlong into a parade of runners and walkers. They were have a 5K race or fund raiser or some such so birding along the road there was also out. I was getting a little frustrated. "Y'know," I said to Shari, "I moved down here to get away from people."

I was fairly certain they weren't holding any tag sales or street fairs at Brigantine, so back on the Parkway we went. And, of course, Brig, as usual, delivered.

Before we were even in the refuge proper, we stopped at a bridge overlooking a pond. There we found a Yellow Warbler singing. (Actually, yesterday, Shari insisted we had heard one when we visited an old clay mining site a couple of miles from home, and once I heard this warbler singing, I agreed with her, but seeing a Yellow Warbler is better than hearing one, so I'll consider this one FOY-a.)

Besides the Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows flying over the pond there were also a few Chimney Swifts--the famous "flying cigars" as Peterson described them

Before we  hit the Wildlife Drive we had 3 Willets from the Leeds Eco Boardwalk
All photos: Shari Zirlin
and as we were returning to the car, in a field across the road, we found a very entertaining Cattle Egret doing battle with a frog.
Along the drive itself there were plenty of Willets and yellowlegs both greater and lesser, a Semipalmated Sandpiper hanging with some dowitchers and a Caspian Tern on a sand bar, looking huge among the roosting Foster's Terns. 3 Bald Eagles, one adult and 2 juveniles (6 were reported by someone else), and a goodly amount of egrets, herons, and ibises (though no White-faced Ibis, which was also reported today as it was the last time we were there a couple of weeks ago) rounded out a very productive day.

List for the day:

51 species
Snow Goose  3
Canada Goose  40    3 goslings with parents
Mute Swan  1
American Black Duck  1
Mallard  15
Double-crested Cormorant  22
Great Blue Heron  5
Great Egret  25
Snowy Egret  20
Cattle Egret  1    In field opposite Leeds Boardwalk
Glossy Ibis  15 
  
Turkey Vulture  4
Osprey  5
Bald Eagle  3
Northern Harrier  1
Peregrine Falcon  1
Black-bellied Plover  3
American Oystercatcher  2
Greater Yellowlegs  50
Willet  60
Lesser Yellowlegs  5
Semipalmated Sandpiper  1
Short-billed Dowitcher  4
Laughing Gull  5
Herring Gull  25
Great Black-backed Gull  5
Caspian Tern  1
Forster's Tern  20
Mourning Dove  1
Chimney Swift  3
Belted Kingfisher  1    By Gull Pond Tower
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1    Heard in parking lot
American Crow  1
Fish Crow  3
Purple Martin  20  
 
Tree Swallow  50
Barn Swallow  2
Tufted Titmouse  2
Eastern Bluebird  1
Gray Catbird  1    Bridge before entrance
European Starling  4    Lawn in front of HQ
Common Yellowthroat  2
Yellow Warbler
  3
Eastern Towhee  2
Chipping Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  75
Common Grackle  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  1    Lawn in front of HQ
House Sparrow  2    Copulating on top of swallow box

Friday, April 27, 2012

Whiting WMA 4/27--Common Yellowthroat

"Here we go again," I said to myself this morning, hearing "witchety-witchety-witch" deep in the bushes near the lake's shore. I was hearing a Common Yellowthroat--I wasn't seeing it. It seems that I hear a lot more of these warblers before I ever see one pop up out of bush and it gets to be a little frustrating because ear birding is okay for the common birds (you don't have stop for every chickadee, titmouse or towhee) it is a much more satisfactory experience to see these pretty little birds.

Other  highlights of my walk were running into "The Gang of Four" male Wild Turkeys on one of the paths, an Eastern Phoebe uncharacteristically investigating a feeder, and the first Barn Swallow I've seen in the WMA, whizzing over the lake with the much more common Tree Swallows.

List:
23 species
Canada Goose  2
Mallard  13
Wild Turkey  4
Turkey Vulture  1
Mourning Dove  4
Eastern Phoebe  1
Blue Jay  1
Fish Crow  2
Tree Swallow  10
Barn Swallow  1    
Carolina Chickadee  8
Tufted Titmouse  5
White-breasted Nuthatch  4
House Wren  1
Eastern Bluebird  4
American Robin  15
Common Yellowthroat  1    
Eastern Towhee  15
Chipping Sparrow  14
Song Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  1
House Finch  4
American Goldfinch  2

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Prospect Park 4/25--SPSA, GHOW, NOWA

I had 5 minutes of business to conduct in Brooklyn yesterday, so to make the trip worthwhile I decided to spend most of the day birding my old haunts in Prospect Park. It was a relatively successful expedition, despite the dearth of warblers--Peter, who I ran into late in the day, told me that it has, so far, been a disappointing season for warblers. I added 2 birds that teeter and one bird that stays very still to my year list.

The first treat of the day was a Spotted Sandpiper I saw teetering lakeside on the peninsula. Later, in the Vale, my first reaction was "another one" when I saw a bird wagging its tail on the edge of the pool, but I quickly saw that it was my first Northern Waterthrush of the year. I briefly considered Louisiana Waterthrush, but it's already a little late for them and this one was yellowish with a striped/spotted throat, so the i.d. was evident.

Toward the end of my sojourn, walking through the Ravine, I saw Peter, as I said and we briefly compared notes. When he mentioned how few warblers they'd been getting in the park, especially compared to "the competition" of Central Park, I said that it was still early. Then I realized, "No, it isn't." It's late April--we're probably halfway through migration and there's still a lot of "easy" birds I haven't seen.

Peter was on his way to check on a fledgling Great Horned Owl and was kind enough (and patient enough) to point it out to me. Happily it was high in a tree and no longer on the ground as had earlier been reported. This is the same nest Rob showed me back in December. Nice to have some continuity.

For the long day I found 37 species. I had expected more, but realized that getting there as late as I did (around 10:30) I was handicapping myself. One bird for which there was no shortage was robin.  I've seen a lot of robins in the park at time, but don't think I've ever seen them as ubiquitous as they were yesterday.
Canada Goose  15    One on nest, Upper Pool, as last year
Mute Swan  9
Wood Duck  4    Upper Pool
Mallard  25
Ruddy Duck  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  1
Spotted Sandpiper  1    Peninsula
Laughing Gull  2
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull  7
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Rock Pigeon  15
Mourning Dove  8
Great Horned Owl  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  7
Northern Flicker  4
Blue Jay  2
Tree Swallow  5
Barn Swallow  4
House Wren  1
Hermit Thrush  2
American Robin  250
European Starling  150
Northern Waterthrush  1    Vale
Palm Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  9
Eastern Towhee  2
Chipping Sparrow  2
Swamp Sparrow  1    Lullwater North
White-throated Sparrow  5
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  25
Common Grackle  20
Brown-headed Cowbird  4    Nelly's Lawn
American Goldfinch  1
House Sparrow  50

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bird House Update

Our bird house has a tenant. Not the ideal tenant, but not House Sparrow riff-raff either.

For the first couple of months the bird house we put up in the drainage slump next to our house went unattended. By the middle of April I had just about given up on any birds taking up residence there. But last week, just out of idle curiosity, I lifted the lid of the box and was surprised to see the beginnings of nest in the box--lots of twigs, the bottom ones bent into a rough circle. A couple of days later there were more twigs, and on Saturday the box was really full of twigs to the extent that one was protruding through the entrance hole.

We were hoping for bluebirds. They're easy to find back in the WMA, but we haven't seen any in the slump for quite a while. We'd occasionally see them at dusk perched high up on the dead tree, but not lately. Today, I looked down the hill with my binoculars to the box and was lucky enough to see a bird dart out of it. Too fast to identify, but I knew it wasn't a bluebird. I waited a minute or so and the bird flew back into the box, again, a blur. When it stuck it's head out a moment later, I saw that we'd attracted a House Wren.

House Wrens are very aggressive birds, so there is not much concern that the House Sparrows I've seen around will push out the wren, and with the entrance tube we attached, I'm fairly certain that the Brown-headed Cowbirds won't be able to squeeze in to lay their parasitical eggs.

Now we'll just wait to see if we get a brood of wrens. Since I was dubious we'd attract any birds to the box, I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Whip-poor-will Recording

video
The whip-poor-will has become a nightly event. Tonight the bird (or a bird) sounded closer than the drainage slump. It was in the backyard adjoining ours. We went out to "look" for it. Spooked a herd of deer and then the whip-poor-will, which was calling to another one distant in the WMA, shut up. Before it did, Shari made this recording on her iPad.

Pretty cool, right?

And, by the way, I don't know why Hank Williams thought the "whipperwill" sounded too blue to fly. If anything, the bird sounds demented to me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Local 4/18--Red-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren

I had a couple of interesting finds this morning on my walk in the WMA. At the lake I inadvertently flushed 2 Wood Ducks from the same little cove that I flushed them last month. They don't seem to be there very often and they're not using the nest box in the middle of the lake--Tree Swallows seem to have made it their home. It's about 4 times bigger than a swallow box, so they're living large.

Later, walking the part of the trail that runs behind the Deerfield Clubhouse I came across my first House Wren of the year. Seemed an appropriate place to find it. I also saw a Pine Warbler on the ground by the lake, picking threads from a plant to use, presumably, as nesting material.

Whiting WMA
26 species
Canada Goose  2
Wood Duck  2
Mallard  2
Wild Turkey  X    heard gobbling in the woods
Turkey Vulture  1
Mourning Dove  3
Downy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  4
American Crow  1
Fish Crow  2
Tree Swallow  6    Three on lake, three in third field
Carolina Chickadee  10
Tufted Titmouse  5
House Wren  1    On trail behind Deerfield Clubhouse
Eastern Bluebird  4
American Robin  12
Palm Warbler  1
Pine Warbler  2    One picking up nesting material near the lake
Eastern Towhee  10
Chipping Sparrow  22
Song Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  2


Back at my desk, I saw a Red-tailed Hawk fly into the tree outside my window. All the other birds--and the squirrels--vanished immediately. 


Red-breasted Nuthatch
Photos: Shari Zirlin
The most interesting spot today was the "slump" across the path from our house. Last night, for the 2nd  time this week, we heard an Eastern Whip-poor-will. It sounded like it was just inside the slump in the trees that surround the weedy, prickly pear filled field. Shari and I decided to check the leaf litter and low branches of the trees this afternoon, hoping to finally actually see a whip-poor-will. No luck there, but while searching Shari found our FOY Red-breasted Nuthatch.


Before I could see it, it flew. Looking around, Shari heard tapping, too soft to be a woodpecker. Then I saw it. Notice the hole behind the bird. The tapping was the nuthatch digging out the hole in the tree. It looks like we have a nesting nuthatch a hundred feet from the kitchen door.
I'll check the hole frequently to see if the bird is really ensconced there.


The theme of this post seems to be nests, so an update on our bluebird box is in order. Up until today, I hadn't seen any evidence of avian interest in the box, but this afternoon, when I opened the lid, I found a semi-circle of sticks at the bottom. Some bird is starting (or started and abandoned) building a nest. I have no idea if it is a bluebird, a wren, or a goddamn House Sparrow (2 of which I saw on our lawn this morning), but I'll be very interested to find out. I don't want to disturb the nest, now that I know there's something in it, though. 


Slump list, all birds on the outskirts of the field (we hadn't sprayed ourselves with insect repellent and the field is a perfect haven for deer ticks). 
"Slump" on Sunset Rd.
9 species
Turkey Vulture  1
Carolina Chickadee  1
Tufted Titmouse  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1    Going in & out of hole in dead tree.
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
American Robin  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  3
Chipping Sparrow  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  2

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Backyard 4/15--Eastern Whip-poor-will

Backyard in the sense that the woods behind the house are part of our backyard, as Shari likes to treat them. Tonight, right now, an Eastern Whip-poor-will is calling.
Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will 
And calling
Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will 
And calling
Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will 
Still calling
Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will 
Wait! This might not be so great.
Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will 
Calling.
Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will 
This might be...maddening!
Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will 
Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will Whip-poor-will 

Great Bay Blvd 4/15--Savannah Sparrow

Our mission today was to find American Oystercatchers for Shari because for whatever reason, oystercatchers make her inordinately happy and we didn't see any yesterday at Brig. I thought that Great Bay Blvd in Tuckerton would be a likely spot even though there had been no eBird reports since October of last year.

The road runs about 5 miles through marshes to an inlet that separates its beach from the southern tip of Long Beach Island. In Tuckerton the road is known as Seven Bridges Road. There are five bridges on the road. Where the two missing bridges are I don't know. Maybe near the Bridge to Nowhere a little north of there.

I was also interested to look at a couple of odd sites along the road. I've been reading Ghost Towns and Other Quirky Place in the New Jersey Pine Barrens--yesterday's trip to Estell Manor was partly inspired by the book. The book mentions a huge shell mound where the Lenape Indians dumped their clam, oyster, and conch shells for 1500 years, as well as the ruins of a huge fish factory in the vicinity. I'd seen the ruins before, though I never knew what they were, but I'd never noticed the shell mound. It was a let down. The mound has been overgrown with trees and reeds and we could barely make out the shells within. Shari took some photos, but they just look like clumps of vegetation. 1500 years of shells equals 1/10 of an acre, 10 feet high and extending 14 feet below the surface. That's a lot of shells. It just shows that New Jersey has a long history of garbage dumps.

The fish factory was easier to see.
Photos: Shari Zirlin
At its peak, in the 1950's it processed 200 million fish, mostly menhaden. Then the menhaden were fished out.

Driving over the 5 bridges we came across the expected egrets, gulls, grackles and swallows. It wasn't until we reached the end of the road that we started seeing more interesting birds. At the parking area there were Palm Warblers, a Field Sparrow, and a couple of FOY Savannah Sparrows one with very yellow supercilliary stripes.
At the beach there was a large flock of Brant close in but no other ducks or geese. Shari was scanning the beach when she started to make little happy sounds--she'd found 2 American Oystercatchers on a hummock of sand along with a Black-bellied Plover. One of them dug out a mussel and had a hell of time with it. At one point the mussel clamped onto its bill and it ran around trying to shake it off. Finally it did and it got its revenge, prying open the mussel.

We drove back over the five bridges (I counted again, just to be certain), looking for anything else unusual, like a Tri-colored Heron that had been reported, but had no luck and headed out for lunch and home.
26 species
Brant  150
Double-crested Cormorant  15
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  18
Snowy Egret  1
Osprey  6
Black-bellied Plover  1
American Oystercatcher  2
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Laughing Gull  1
Herring Gull  100
Great Black-backed Gull  10
Forster's Tern  15
Mourning Dove  1
Fish Crow  10
Tree Swallow  10
American Robin  1
European Starling  5
Palm Warbler  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Field Sparrow  1
Savannah Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  6
Dark-eyed Junco  1
Red-winged Blackbird  50
Boat-tailed Grackle  20

Atlantic County 4/14--GLIB, SBDO, BGGN

Yesterday we birded a new place for us--Estell Manor Park, south of Mays Landing. This is a huge park--the south end has a paved 2 mile drive, while the northern end is less developed. This whole tract during the end of WWI was call Belcoville (for Bethlehem Loading Company) and was the site of one of two artillery shell loading plants built deep in the pine barrens. The idea was, if they blew up, no  populated areas would be hurt. The ruins of many of the buildings (it was an extensive undertaking) are deep in the woods. At the powerhouse ruins a tall cedar tree grows through where the roof of the building once was.

Before the loading plant (and accompanying company town) was built, there were already the ruins of the Estellville Glassworks, which we also walked around. It was abandoned in 1877. I know by European standards these ruins are practically new, but here, where everything is torn down and built over, it is amazing to see the woods taking over the sites again. Now that the barrens are protected, the ruins will are protected as well.

In terms of birds of the find here was our first Blue-gray Gnatcatchers of the year. I listed 4 but there were probably a lot more, since it took me a while to figure out their song. When Shari described one bird as "gray with an eye-ring" the i.d. clicked into place.

A White-faced Ibis had been reported at Brigantine the last few days so late in the afternoon we headed over there on the way home. We dipped (as the birders say) on the WFIB, but we did see a lot of Glossy Ibises as well as our FOY Short-billed Dowitchers. The water levels in the impoundments have been lowered to accommodate the shorebirds and looks like they're already making use of the amenities. Lots of Black-bellied Plovers were around (though only one in breeding plumage) as well as Dunlin and Greater Yellowlegs. Many egrets both snowy and great. We have yet to find a Black-crowned Night-Heron this year--getting kind of late not to have seen one. Always the regrets of what I haven't seen.

2 lists 48 species combined.
Estell Manor Park
27 species
Canada Goose  15
Blue-winged Teal  2    Floating dock
Green-winged Teal  2    Floating dock
Turkey Vulture  17
Osprey  1
Greater Yellowlegs  5
Laughing Gull  3    Floating dock
Belted Kingfisher  1    Nature trail observation deck
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Blue Jay  1
Fish Crow  2
Purple Martin  2
Tree Swallow  10
Carolina Chickadee  15
Tufted Titmouse  2
Carolina Wren  3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  4
Eastern Bluebird  1    Cribbens Field
American Robin  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  4    Nature trail
Chipping Sparrow  15
White-throated Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  5
American Goldfinch  1
Brigantine
32 species
Snow Goose  5    One had injured leg
Brant  550
Canada Goose  100
Mute Swan  4
Gadwall  1
American Black Duck  25
Mallard  2
Northern Shoveler  3
Green-winged Teal  50
Double-crested Cormorant  30
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  20
Snowy Egret  30
Glossy Ibis  30
Osprey  14
Black-bellied Plover  75    Only one in breeding plumage
Greater Yellowlegs  6
Dunlin  10
Short-billed Dowitcher  2
Herring Gull  100
Great Black-backed Gull  50
Forster's Tern  10
Belted Kingfisher  1    Gull Pond
Fish Crow  5
Purple Martin  2
Tree Swallow  10
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  1
White-throated Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  25
Common Grackle  2
Boat-tailed Grackle  1