Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Island Beach SP 5/20--Black-crowned Night-Heron, Red-eyed Vireo, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black-throated Blue, Canada Warblers

When I was at Brig on Sunday I bumped in my friend Karmela at the Gull Pond. She was with a group so we couldn't bird together that day, but we agreed to meet at Island Beach SP on Tuesday to see what we could find.

I met her at Reed's Road. Before she arrived I walked about a 1/3 of the way up the road and didn't find much. I know a great spot on the bay side, but I was afraid, judging from the inactivity on the road, that it was going to be a bust, as so often happens when you want to show someone a great place.

The spot we were going to was the place where Greg & I observed the fox cubs in their den. The den holes were still there, and still had the skunky aroma of fox wafting out of the them, but the foxes were long gone. And I was wrong about the spot being quiet. It was jumping with bird, warblers especially. There is a sandy hill to stand on surrounded by deciduous trees, so you don't have to get warbler neck looking at the birds as you are very often eye height with them. For me the highlight warblers were my FOY Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black-throated Blue, and Canada Warblers. The first and last in the sequence were also county birds for me.

We stood around the area for well over an hour and a half--birds just kept appearing and every time we thought the activity had died down we'd find another goodie in a another tree. As we stood around I told Karmela about the first time I'd been in the spot with the guy who'd showed it to me (supposedly a big secret) and how that day, to top it all off, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak had shown up. No soon did I say than Karmela turned around to her left and said, "There's one." Then we saw another and another and another--2 males and 2 females. I promise to use this power only for good.

After we were finally able to tear ourselves away from the little grove, we drove south about 6 miles to Spizzle Creek. I figured I might as well bird it now, because pretty soon it the mosquitoes would make it impossible to walk there. They were already out, but a few spritzes of OFF! seemed to work.

We found a few egrets, herons, and ibises, and quite a few different shorebirds--none in great quantity, but enough to keep us interested. I had just mentioned that I still hadn't seen a Black-crowned Night-Heron this year, when I heard the unmistakable "kwok!" of one and we turned around to see it fly across the trail.

60 species (+1 other taxa)
Brant  21
Double-crested Cormorant  50
Great Blue Heron  10
Great Egret  10
Snowy Egret  1
Black-crowned Night-Heron  1
Glossy Ibis  3
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  10
American Oystercatcher  1
Black-bellied Plover  20
Greater Yellowlegs  6
Willet  5
Dunlin  4
Semipalmated Sandpiper  1
Short-billed Dowitcher  2
Laughing Gull  10
Herring Gull  26
Great Black-backed Gull  10
Forster's Tern  5
Mourning Dove  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Peregrine Falcon  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  2
Great Crested Flycatcher  5
Eastern Kingbird  10
White-eyed Vireo  1
Red-eyed Vireo  19
Fish Crow  5
crow sp.  10
Barn Swallow  5
Carolina Chickadee  1
Tufted Titmouse  1
Marsh Wren  2
Gray Catbird  50
Brown Thrasher  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
Ovenbird  1
Black-and-white Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  30
American Redstart  5
Northern Parula  1
Magnolia Warbler  10
Bay-breasted Warbler  3
Yellow Warbler  8
Blackpoll Warbler  3
Black-throated Blue Warbler  1
Pine Warbler  1
Canada Warbler  1
Eastern Towhee  5
Field Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  2
Scarlet Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal  1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  4
Red-winged Blackbird  20
Common Grackle  3
Boat-tailed Grackle  3
American Goldfinch  1

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