Thursday, July 31, 2014

Brigantine 7/31--Stilt Sandpiper

Rose Mallow at Gull Pond
I was at Brig today for a mid-week trip with Pete. I had the awesome responsibility of filling in for Mike and drove the lead car as Pete surveyed the impoundments. I managed to keep us out of the marshes and found a few birds as well, so I think I acquitted myself with honor.

As to the birds, it was quiet. I saw a lot more species than I would any place in Ocean County, but 60 for late July is pretty slim pickings. Pete had a lot more birds on Saturday (when we were away) than today. Many of them left, but as he said, nothing new replaced them.

The only new bird (for me) was the Stilt Sandpiper in with some terns and gulls I was lucky enough to find on the second go-round. Being in the first car has its advantages. Pete didn't want everyone to get out of their vehicles because the bird was fairly close in (the only reason I managed to find it in the first place) and he didn't want it to spook. So I carefully exited the car and started to walk back to let the folks behind us know what we had. Of course, the bird flew. Pete said I started off slow, but when I picked up the pace, the birds got scared and flew off and so did the Stilt. We didn't find another for the group.

Other interesting birds along the way were a Whimbrel, a Ruddy Turnstone, & a couple of Gull-billed Terns. Birds Pete heard that I missed, among the many: Bobolink, Blue Grosbeak, Seaside Sparrow, Willet, etc., etc.

My "good way to end the month" list:
60 species
Canada Goose  50
Mute Swan  40
American Black Duck  10
Mallard  5
Double-crested Cormorant  2
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  25
Snowy Egret  5
Little Blue Heron  1     Gull Pond
Glossy Ibis  20
Osprey  10     Many still on nests
Clapper Rail  3
American Oystercatcher  4
Black-bellied Plover  7
Semipalmated Plover  10
Greater Yellowlegs  5
Whimbrel  1
Ruddy Turnstone  1
Stilt Sandpiper  1
Semipalmated Sandpiper  600
Short-billed Dowitcher  500
Long-billed Dowitcher  3
Laughing Gull  100
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull  10
Great Black-backed Gull  20
Least Tern  2
Gull-billed Tern  2
Forster's Tern  50
Black Skimmer  30
Mourning Dove  2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Peregrine Falcon  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  2     Heard
Eastern Kingbird  1
Blue Jay  2     Heard
American Crow  5
Fish Crow  5
Purple Martin  20
Tree Swallow  10
Barn Swallow  5
Carolina Chickadee  1     Heard
House Wren  1     Heard
Marsh Wren  1     Heard
American Robin  10
Gray Catbird  3
Northern Mockingbird  4
European Starling  50
Common Yellowthroat  2
Eastern Towhee  2     Heard
Chipping Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  5
Northern Cardinal  1
Red-winged Blackbird  25
Common Grackle  1
House Finch  1
American Goldfinch  5
House Sparrow  3

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