Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spizzle Creek 4/21--Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron
I was awakened at 5:20 this morning by the whip-poor-will. Which was okay, since I had to be up at 5:30 anyway.

As I was dropping Shari off at the Toms River bus station, I got a text alert that a White-faced Ibis, a bird that would look very good on my county list, was seen again this morning at Island Beach. I had been considering Island Beach as a destination for the last couple of days, so my choice was made.

I knew the bird was seen on the Spizzle Creek trail, but that trail forks and I wasn't sure which end I should go to first. I looked to my left when I got to the split and didn't see any birds, so I walked toward the blind, checking the marsh to the north. A few egrets, but not what I was looking for. That proved to be a mistake. I doubled back and walked on the southern trail; coming around a little curve I saw standing, as they will, in some reeds a nice flock of ibises. Which I promptly spooked as first a dozen ibises flew off and then another 10 took off and there went my chance of finding the WFIB, which I'm sure was in that flock. But the Gonzos were gone.

However, there were a couple of compensatory birds, the first one being my FOY Little Blue Heron that was tucked into the marsh standing in a channel. The other bird was a White-eyed Vireo which I managed to see going back out along the entrance trail. I actually stumbled upon it while looking for the singing mockingbird. I'd thought I'd heard vireo on the way in, but i was too anxious to find the rare ibis to spend any time looking for it. Later on in the day I found another year bird while trying to locate a singing bird.

I didn't do badly on the creek, but flushing the ibises was a disappointment. It made me feel like a birding klutz. If all the chases were as easy as Saturday's Cattle Egret or Sunday's Chuck-will's-widow it wouldn't be any fun, would it? (Sure it would!)
26 species
Mallard  1
Hooded Merganser  2     Hen type birds, smaller than red-breasted, thin bills
Red-breasted Merganser  4
Double-crested Cormorant  30
Great Egret  3
Snowy Egret  3
Little Blue Heron  4
Tricolored Heron  2
Glossy Ibis  25
Osprey  6
American Oystercatcher  2
Greater Yellowlegs  3
Willet (Eastern)  2
Herring Gull  10
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Forster's Tern  1
White-eyed Vireo  1
Carolina Chickadee  2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Northern Mockingbird  1     Heard
Yellow-rumped Warbler  3
Eastern Towhee  1     Heard
Song Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  1     Heard
Red-winged Blackbird  10
Boat-tailed Grackle  5

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