Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Brig 4/16--Blue-winged Teal, Short-billed Dowitcher, Caspian Tern, Forster's Tern, Barn Swallow, Marsh Wren, Brown Thrasher

Blue-winged Teal
Ack! We got home to the news that Brig was shutting down for at least 6 weeks to improve the road and reinforce the dikes. Sunday would be the last day it was fully open, so on Saturday, Shari & I met up with our buddy Bob Auster for one last go-round.

We weren't even in the refuge proper when we got our first FOY, a Blue-winged Teal in the entrance pond.

The terns have returned, at least the Caspian and Forster's species. We saw lots of the latter, only a couple of the former.  Mixed in with a large flock of Dunlin, I espied, on our 2nd circuit, our first Short-billed Dowitchers of the year, and at the exit ponds, another birder pointed out the song of a Marsh Wren. A couple of Barn Swallows over the dikes and a quick glance at a Brown Thrasher just before the exit filled out the FOY list.

It is going to be a difficult spring without Brig, especially for shore birds. I'm hoping that "6 weeks" construction schedule is not a typical contractor's six weeks which can turn to ten or twelve, but a schedule that is based on a real calendar.

Our last trip there for a while netted 52 species.
Snow Goose  3
Brant  50
Canada Goose  100
Mute Swan  2
Wood Duck  3
Gadwall  3
American Black Duck  15
Mallard  12
Blue-winged Teal  6
Northern Shoveler  30
Green-winged Teal  20
Bufflehead  12
Double-crested Cormorant  15
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  20
Snowy Egret  30
Turkey Vulture  4
Osprey  15
Northern Harrier  1
American Coot  4
American Oystercatcher  4
Black-bellied Plover  6
Greater Yellowlegs  25
Lesser Yellowlegs
Dunlin  250
Short-billed Dowitcher  2
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull  100
Great Black-backed Gull  5
Caspian Tern  2Forster's Tern  20
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Heard
Peregrine Falcon  1
Fish Crow  10
Purple Martin  1
Tree Swallow  15
Barn Swallow  2
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  2
Marsh Wren  1     Heard, exit ponds
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Brown Thrasher  1
Pine Warbler  1     Heard
Yellow-rumped Warbler  4
Chipping Sparrow  2     Heard
Song Sparrow  5
Eastern Towhee  1     Heard
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  25
Brown-headed Cowbird  10
House Finch  1     Heard
American Goldfinch  2     Heard

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