Monday, April 14, 2014

Cattus Island CP 4/14--Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron

I met Greg at Double Trouble this morning. Yesterday he saw a Louisiana Waterthrush along the drainage ditch that runs along the trail to the big reservoir. He'd emailed me yesterday and rushed over there, but didn't find the bird. We didn't have any better luck this morning. Louisiana Waterthrush is not officially a "rara avis" 'round here, but there are very few sightings listed on eBird. Greg's was the first in about 7 or 8 years! So we both would really have liked to refind the bird. We saw plenty of other expected warblers, and Greg, before I got there, had the first Common Yellowthroat of the year at the power line cut, but despite diligent searching up and down the trail, we could get the waterthrush to materialize. Too bad; I don't see them that often anywhere and it would be a really good bird for my Ocean County list.
Double Trouble State Park
22 species
Mallard  5
Great Egret  3
Turkey Vulture  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1    Heard
Eastern Phoebe  5
Blue Jay  3
Fish Crow  1
Tree Swallow  10
Barn Swallow  2
Carolina Chickadee  5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  3
American Robin  2
Black-and-white Warbler  5
Palm Warbler  4
Pine Warbler  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Chipping Sparrow  5
Savannah Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  4
Red-winged Blackbird  3
Brown-headed Cowbird  1

My original plan for this morning was to go to Cattus Island County Park and look for new waders, so after a full morning at Double Trouble we headed over there. We met a guy I know taking photographs and asked if any of our target birds had been seen--of course they had and we had just missed 'em. 

We were not so easily dissuaded--after all we'd spent a few hours trying to find a little warbler bobbing along a stream, big shorebirds should be easier to spot. So we walked almost to the end of the road when Greg spot a wader far out in the marsh. Too far out to be sure what it was. Happily, the trail to Scout Island, which was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, has been restored. We walked out on the boardwalk and over to the "island," which is more like a hard spot in the marsh than an actual island, and peering through the phragmites, Greg found a Tricolored Heron. A little farther on we were able to get better looks. 

On the way out we stopped again to scan the marshes and found the second target bird of the day, a Little Blue Heron. Good thing I lugged the scope today because it too was pretty far out in the marsh but we sighted it through the scope perfectly. A little before that a second, beautiful Tricolored Heron flew over us--absolutely spectacular breeding plumage. And the bonus bird for the day was Glossy Ibis, a few of which we could see flying in to an inaccessible area of the marsh--inaccessible because the boardwalk that goes out there still hasn't been repaired since the storm. 

So, despite dipping on the waterthrush, we had a pretty good day in the field.
Cattus Island County Park
22 species
Canada Goose  2
Mallard  5
Bufflehead  1    Crossway Creek
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Egret  10
Snowy Egret  3
Little Blue Heron  1
Tricolored Heron  2
Glossy Ibis  3
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  3
Northern Harrier  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Carolina Chickadee  1    Heard
Tufted Titmouse  1    Heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1    Heard
Pine Warbler  1
Eastern Towhee  1    Heard, Scout Island
Song Sparrow  1    Heard, Scout Island
Red-winged Blackbird  5

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