Sunday, June 1, 2014

Brigantine 5/31--Chuck-will's-widow

We went on Pete's annual Brig trip for crepuscular birds. This the trip the starts at 3 PM (when most of the trips are finishing up) and ends up in the woods of the Wildlife Drive where we stop to listen for nightjars. Sometimes you can hears owls too. Once we heard a Virginia Rail.

Unfortunately, the cool--cold!--weather continues. Temperatures in the 50's keeps the insect population down which in turn keeps the nightjars relatively inactive. I managed to hear 5 Chuck-will's-widows, none of them were very close. Certainly not as close as the Whip-poor-will we heard when we got home and unpacked the car around 10:30. Not to mention the Great Horned Owl hooting across the street. Which turned out to be our neighbor, having fun with us.

Tundra Swan
There were interesting birds there though during the daylight hours. A continuing rarity is the Tundra Swan in the Gull Pond. This bird is possibly injured. It is also looking pretty dingy; whether its neck is discolored from the water, or it is indication of something unhealthy, I don't know. I suspect it is simply the former.

Other interesting birds we found along the way: A singing, very cooperative Seaside Sparrow, which stayed out in the open for many long minutes, something they rarely do, affording everyone in the group great scope views; A White-rumped Sandpiper mixed in with the Semipalmated Sandpipers, affording everyone in the group somewhat decent views--Pete & Mike worked diligently to get everyone on the bird and to explain what they were looking at & for; and finally, on our second trip around the dikes, two Black-crowned Night-Herons, a bird that has been surprisingly difficult to find this year.
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Photo: Shari Zirlin
We ended the day with 58 species:
Canada Goose  50
Mute Swan  8
Tundra Swan  1     
Mallard  4
Double-crested Cormorant  10
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  24
Snowy Egret  5
Black-crowned Night-Heron  2
Glossy Ibis  30
Osprey  10
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Clapper Rail  3     Heard
American Oystercatcher  2
Black-bellied Plover  1
Semipalmated Plover  2
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  1     Heard south dike
Willet  25
Ruddy Turnstone  20
Dunlin  10
Least Sandpiper  3
White-rumped Sandpiper  1
Semipalmated Sandpiper  1000
Short-billed Dowitcher  1
Laughing Gull  100
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull  20
Great Black-backed Gull  3
Gull-billed Tern  2
Caspian Tern  1
Forster's Tern  25
Black Skimmer  30
Mourning Dove  1     Heard
Chuck-will's-widow  5     Heard, wooded portion of trail
Peregrine Falcon  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  1     Heard, wooded portion of trail
Eastern Kingbird  2
American Crow  1
Purple Martin  20
Tree Swallow  2
Barn Swallow  25
Carolina Chickadee  1     Heard picnic tables.
Marsh Wren  5     Heard
Carolina Wren  1     Heard wooded part of trail
American Robin  1
Gray Catbird  2     Heard wooded part of trail
Common Yellowthroat  2     Heard, around Gull Pond
Yellow Warbler  
1     Heard near exit ponds
Eastern Towhee  1     Heard wooded portion of trail
Chipping Sparrow  1     Heard parking lot
Seaside Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  1     Heard
Red-winged Blackbird  100
Boat-tailed Grackle  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  1     Heard parking lot
House Finch  1     Heard parking lot
House Sparrow  1     Heard parking lot

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