Saturday, April 18, 2015

Brig 4/18--Whimbrel, Caspian Tern, White-eyed Vireo, Gray Catbird

Shari's favorite: American Oystercatcher
We took a couple of turns around the dikes at Brig today on a field trip led by Mike & Pete. It's a great time of year--the weather is warm and new birds are arriving every day.

Whimbrel was the first new bird seen today, an unexpected species--not rare, it's just that I wasn't thinking about the bird this early in the spring. Pete spotted one bird among a huge flock of Dunlins and when they settled down, four eventually emerged from the crowd, along with about 100 Black-bellied Plovers, some of which had black bellies.

As if to make up for missing them on Thursday when Mike & I were birding the area, we passed at least a dozen Great Blue Herons. And for once, Shari's favorite bird, American Oystercatcher, was a quick tick off the list.

It wasn't until the upland portion of the drive that we added our 2nd new bird for the year and it was an ear bird only, but one with a notable song that isn't easily mistaken: "Pick up the beer check," said the White-eyed Vireo.

The 2nd loop after lunch produced the one bird I was hoping to get--Caspian Tern. It was sitting next to a Great Black-backed Gull, which was standing next to a Forster's Tern, so the size comparison was instructive if you needed instruction. It was also sitting in almost the exact spot where on our first circuit we had seen this immature Bald Eagle knee-deep in the water.
The final new year bird was a little frustrating, again because it was by ear, but again, a distinctive sound--Gray Catbird, finally, just past the exit ponds as we were ending our day there. Others in the group saw the bird fly across, but we were the 3rd car in the caravan and by the time we reached the spot we only heard it.

Still, 62 species for the day made for a very satisfying trip.
Brant  500
Canada Goose  50
Mute Swan  1
Gadwall  2
American Black Duck  10
Mallard  5
Blue-winged Teal  2
Northern Shoveler  20
Green-winged Teal  5
Bufflehead  10
Common Loon  2
Double-crested Cormorant  20
Great Blue Heron  15
Great Egret  20
Snowy Egret  50
Glossy Ibis  45
Black Vulture  1
Turkey Vulture  9
Osprey  15
Northern Harrier  1
Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Oystercatcher  7
Black-bellied Plover  100
Greater Yellowlegs  25
Whimbrel  4
Dunlin  1000
Short-billed Dowitcher  1
Laughing Gull  2
Herring Gull  50
Great Black-backed Gull  10
Caspian Tern  1
Forster's Tern  25
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Heard upland side
American Kestrel  1
Peregrine Falcon  1
White-eyed Vireo  1     Heard, upland side
Blue Jay  1     Heard
American Crow  1
Fish Crow  5
Purple Martin  5
Tree Swallow  20
White-breasted Nuthatch  1     Heard upland side
Carolina Wren  1     Heard upland side
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Eastern Bluebird  1     Picnic tables
American Robin  1
Gray Catbird  1     Heard, just past exit ponds
Northern Mockingbird  1     Heard, visitor's ctr
Common Yellowthroat  5     Heard
Pine Warbler  1     Heard, picnic tables
Eastern Towhee  1     Heard, upland side
Chipping Sparrow  2     Heard, upland side
Field Sparrow  2     Heard, upland side
Song Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  1     Heard, parking lot
Red-winged Blackbird  50
Boat-tailed Grackle  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  3
House Finch  1     Heard, parking lot
American Goldfinch  1     Heard, upland side

No comments:

Post a Comment