Saturday, June 10, 2017

Barnegat Light SP 6/9--Brown Pelican

I made my warm weather trek to Barnegat Light in search of a few birds that I like to see--especially in the county. I was successful with 3 out of 4.

Piping Plover outside it's nest
The endangered Piping Plover has a number of nests at the south end of the Long Beach Island at Holgate, and because of that, Holgate is closed spring & summer. Barnegat Light, being a state park, can't close for birds, and it usually has one pair of nesters. About 3/4 of a mile of the beach gets stringed off, leaving only a narrow corridor to walk down. The plovers scratch out their nest in the sand and whoever is monitoring these birds places a cage on top of the nest so that the gulls, crows, and who know what other predators can't get to the eggs. I saw one plover running on the beach and another sitting on the nest. However, just looking at the bird on the nest was enough to get it run out of the cage. It doesn't look like any eggs have hatched as of yet.

American Oystercatcher with chicks
American Oystercatchers also nest within the confines of the strings and they have bred successfully. One of the oystercatchers and one of the plovers were banded--the oystercatcher has T2 plastic bands and a metal band I couldn't read, the plover's band are colored and if there is any information on them it is much too small for me to read.

I was also looking for terns--Common & Royal. Got the former, missed the latter. The year bird for the day was a single Brown Pelican flying north along the shore--a bit early for them but a nice semi-surprise.

Red-throated Loon
There were two other surprises on my walk--the first was hearing the "pit-za!" call of the Acadian Flycatcher in the maritime forest that is across from jetty--county bird. The 2nd, and somewhat more interesting sighting was a very late Red-throated Loon off the beach. My first surmise was that it was a Common Loon, some of which do hang around all summer, but the gray face, beady eye, and especially the turned up beak, gave it away as the rarer (for this time of year) loon. I managed one really crappy photo to prove my sighting. If you click on the photo you can view it larger and crappier.

I'll find a Royal Tern somewhere, eventually, but at least I don't have to fight the summer traffic to get the other birds now.

26 species
Mallard 4
Red-throated Loon 1
Double-crested Cormorant 9
Brown Pelican 1
Great Egret 2
Glossy Ibis 4 in marsh across from jetty
Osprey 2 nesting in channel marker just outside the inlet
American Oystercatcher 4
Piping Plover 2
Laughing Gull 2
Herring Gull 25
Great Black-backed Gull 20
Common Tern 1
Acadian Flycatcher 1 Heard
Eastern Kingbird 2
American Crow 1
Fish Crow 10 saw many mobbings of crows by Red-winged Blackbirds
Tree Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 20
Northern Mockingbird 2
Common Yellowthroat 2 Heard maritime forest
Yellow Warbler
1 Heard maritime forest
Song Sparrow 5
Red-winged Blackbird 25
Common Grackle 2
House Sparrow 10

No comments:

Post a Comment