Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Whitesbog 8/3--Pectoral Sandpiper

The bogs are draining at Whitesbog. 
While we were out west I knew that when I got back the annual process of draining the front, moribund bogs at Whitesbog would be underway and I was anxious to get out there, especially after I had an email from Greg who already had 7 species of shorebirds. Late yesterday afternoon I drove over there and I wasn't disappointed. I had 8 species of shorebirds--all the expected ones plus one "rarity," Pectoral Sandpiper. Burlington County has plenty of habitat suitable for Pectorals, so I don't exactly know why it's considered rare there, but there was no doubting the medium-sized shorebird when I saw its "vest" on its breast.

My count of two (!) Gull-billed Terns was also considered an outlier. Each year the Gull-billed Terns stop over at Whitesbog when the impoundments drain and each year you have to document them. I didn't have my camera with me yesterday, but a pair, I assume the same pair, were there early this morning roosting on the same exposed sandy area. 11 Glossy Ibises was also flagged.
I'm hoping this year the farmer will let the water flow out more slowly than last year, thus extending the shorebird season. Last year we had great birds there, but they didn't stay for long. If all goes well, I'll probably be stopping there 2 or 3 times a week for the next month or so.

It was great to get back to east coast birds. I didn't realize it until I heard one, but I missed the catbirds.
26 species
Canada Goose  6
American Black Duck  20
Mallard  5
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  1
Glossy Ibis  11     
Turkey Vulture  1
Semipalmated Plover  6
Killdeer  5
Spotted Sandpiper  4
Solitary Sandpiper  5
Greater Yellowlegs  3
Lesser Yellowlegs
Least Sandpiper  10
Pectoral Sandpiper  1     
Gull-billed Tern  2   
Mourning Dove  3
Eastern Kingbird  1
American Crow  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  10
Tree Swallow  1
Bank Swallow  1
Gray Catbird  1    
Song Sparrow  1     Heard
Red-winged Blackbird  10
Common Grackle  1

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