Saturday, August 15, 2015

Brig 8/15--Stilt Sandpiper

Panoramic shot from the north dike
 Mike co-led a NJ Audubon trip at Brig today so, since Shari was otherwise engaged, I drove down with him. We left very early so we could take a spin around the dikes before the official beginning of the trip to give us a sense of what was where. When we first arrived on the Wildlife Drive a little after 7 there were plenty of the mudflats on the outside of the drive, while the impoundments themselves were still ridiculously high due to survey work the refuge is having done that requires boats, which require water and it was supposed to done two weeks and should have been done two months ago but I'm starting to rant.

Anyway, we had lots of peeps on the mud flats and Clapper Rails were easy to find scampering in and out of the reeds. We had most of the expected shorebirds, though not in great numbers. And I finally saw a Stilt Sandpiper this year, feeding like an oil derrick (as opposed to a sewing machine for dowitchers) pretty far out in the water off the east dike. Mike picked it out and I could tell by size, shape and feeding habit that it was a stilt. But it was definitely a BetterViewDesired bird. Despite diligently looking, we found no truly rare species today.

I had 75 species for the very long day there (we left around a quarter to 5) and then Mike and I did a loop around Whitesbog which, with the new species for the day we found there, rounded me up to 80. A fine way to spend the day.

Brig's list:
Canada Goose  50
Mute Swan  5
Wood Duck  10
American Black Duck  15
Mallard  1
Blue-winged Teal  4
Double-crested Cormorant  50
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  50
Snowy Egret  25
Little Blue Heron  1     gull pond
Black-crowned Night-Heron  10
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  3
Glossy Ibis  50
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  10
Bald Eagle  1
Clapper Rail  5
Clapper Rail  5
American Oystercatcher  1
Black-bellied Plover  10
Semipalmated Plover  100
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  25
Willet  1
Lesser Yellowlegs  10
Whimbrel  1
Ruddy Turnstone  3
Stilt Sandpiper  1
Least Sandpiper  10
Semipalmated Sandpiper  1000
Western Sandpiper  1
Short-billed Dowitcher  50
Laughing Gull  300
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull  50
Great Black-backed Gull  4
Least Tern  1
Gull-billed Tern  2     gull island
Caspian Tern  10
Common Tern  1
Forster's Tern  50
Black Skimmer  20
Chimney Swift  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Heard
Downy Woodpecker  1
Peregrine Falcon  3
Eastern Phoebe  2
Eastern Kingbird  3
White-eyed Vireo  1     Heard, near Leed Eco-trail
Blue Jay  1     Heard
American Crow  5
Fish Crow  1
Purple Martin  1
Tree Swallow  2
Barn Swallow  10
Carolina Chickadee  2     Heard
Tufted Titmouse  2     Heard
White-breasted Nuthatch  1     Heard
House Wren  1     Gull Pond
Carolina Wren  1     Heard, entrance
American Robin  3
Gray Catbird  3
European Starling  100
Cedar Waxwing  1     Parking lot
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow Warbler
Seaside Sparrow  1
Chipping Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  2
Blue Grosbeak  1     Upland  portion, near pond on Jen's Trail
Red-winged Blackbird  75
Boat-tailed Grackle  2     Turn onto north dike
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
American Goldfinch  4
Blue Grosbeak

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