Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Walk Around Brig 6/18

American Oystercatcher, from north dike
Walking is my preferred mode of birding, by far. Today, instead of driving around the Wildlife Drive at Brig, I did what for years I've wanted to do and walked the 8 mile loop. The condition seemed as amenable as they were ever going to be: not too hot, not too breezy,  & no greenhead flies to speak of (though I did attract a couple of ticks). I set off a little after 8 and arrived back at the parking lot at 12:35.

June is in between migrations, so there weren't a tremendous amount of birds in the pools, but by walking I was able to consider almost every bird that I saw. I didn't feel rushed the way I often do when driving the loop (what's next, what's up there?), and a few birds might have gone unnoticed had I not been walking.
Black-crowned Night-Heron from east dike
I didn't see anything I wouldn't expect to see; Common Tern was probably the most "difficult" species I found, sitting in the usual place on the spillway before the turn onto the north dike. Unfortunately, it flew away when a Snowy Egret decided that that was just the place for it to be.

The diamondback terrapins are crossing the road now and digging their holes in the most inopportune spots. I moved one to the side (they're surprisingly dense) because some drivers are just oblivious.

Terrapins define the word "doggedness." With tremendous effort they haul themselves out of the water, crawl along the road on legs not meant to crawl, dig a hole with legs not meant to dig, and lay their eggs, the majority of which end up like this not long after the mother has left:
A study in futility
That they exist at all is a testament to the law of large numbers.

The most surprising absence on my day list is the lack of raptors aside from the ever-present Ospreys and the resident Peregrine Falcons. Not even a Turkey Vulture, much less an eagle or hawk. Just one of those would have boosted my list up to the magic Heinz number of 57.
56 species
Canada Goose  150
Mute Swan  5    
Mallard  95
Double-crested Cormorant  8
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  30
Snowy Egret  35
Black-crowned Night-Heron  3
Glossy Ibis  16
Osprey  15
Clapper Rail  1     Heard
American Oystercatcher  7     flock of five flew by, two from north dike
Black-bellied Plover  24
Greater Yellowlegs  2     One from north dike, one in Jen's Trail pond
Willet  40
Semipalmated Sandpiper  16
Laughing Gull  150
Herring Gull  25
Gull-billed Tern  8
Caspian Tern  2
Common Tern  1
Forster's Tern  50
Black Skimmer  12
Mourning Dove  4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Heard
Peregrine Falcon  3
Eastern Phoebe  1     Heard upland area
Great Crested Flycatcher  1     heard, picnic tables
Eastern Kingbird  2
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  1     Heard
Fish Crow  4
Purple Martin  20
Tree Swallow  10
Tufted Titmouse  3
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
House Wren  1     Field just past Experimental Pool driveway
Marsh Wren  3     Heard
Carolina Wren  2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Eastern Bluebird  1
American Robin  1
Gray Catbird  20
Common Yellowthroat  15
Yellow Warbler  
Pine Warbler  1     Heard, upland area
Seaside Sparrow  10
Chipping Sparrow  8
Field Sparrow  1     Heard, fields just past Experimental Pool driveway
Song Sparrow  6
Eastern Towhee  1     Heard upland area
Northern Cardinal  3
Red-winged Blackbird  125
House Finch  5
American Goldfinch  6

1 comment:

  1. Your posts are getting better and better and ...thanks!