Sunday, April 26, 2015

Heislerville WMA 4/25--Clapper Rail, Semipalmated Plover

After lunch we headed over to Heislerville WMA, which is a sort of mini-Brig in Cumberland County. But while Brig's roads are wide and one-way, Heislerville's are narrow and two-way, which makes for some interesting maneuvering on the dikes.

Coming in we check the big rookery on an island of dead, guano-covered trees. It was mostly cormorants and egrets, though some in our group did see a lone Black-crowned Night-Heron. I was not in that number.

Before we went onto the dikes we stopped at the parking area and scoped the big pool. We found many Greater Yellowlegs, a Killdeer, and very distant and tiny in the scope, our first Semipalmated Plovers.

Then on to the dikes, where the most unusual bird we found we a Red-throated Loon. Last week, when I was there with Mike, he heard a Clapper Rail that I might also have heard, though I thought it a pretty weak signal, so I didn't count it. This time, while we were scanning the ducks and other waterfowl in the same pool as the loon, I heard the rail loud and long. I know that both these year birs are easy ones, but I like to get them on the list. I also know I will eventually see a Clapper Rail, striding across the mud like, as Bob pointed out last year, Groucho Marx. He has forever changed the image of the bird for me.

Our Heislerville list. We also made stops nearby at East Point Lighthouse and Thompson's Beach, but nothing new was noted.
32 species
Canada Goose  2
Mute Swan  8
Gadwall  20
American Black Duck  2
Northern Shoveler  15
Green-winged Teal  29
Bufflehead  1
Red-throated Loon  1
Double-crested Cormorant  50
Great Egret  25
Snowy Egret  5
Turkey Vulture  2
Osprey  2
Bald Eagle  1
Clapper Rail  1     Heard
Semipalmated Plover  4
Killdeer  2
Greater Yellowlegs  50
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull  20
Great Black-backed Gull  25
Forster's Tern  1
Fish Crow  5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Purple Martin  1
Tree Swallow  5
Barn Swallow  20
Red-winged Blackbird  2
Common Grackle  2
Boat-tailed Grackle  2
House Finch  1     Heard

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