Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cape May 6/20--Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Photo: Shari Zirlin
About 1:30 this afternoon, with the report of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks on Shunpike Road, Shari could stand it no more and decided right then that we were going to Cape May. Which was fine with me, because last year, when the ducks showed up at this very same pond, I dithered so long about making the drive that when I finally decided to go, they were gone.

What there is about this little private pond that attracts these ducks, other than habit, is obscure to me. But there they were, among the geese, Mallards, and Laughing Gulls, looking goofy as always. This species turns up on almost annual basis in NJ, and they're always worth the trip to me. I love the way they look.

It didn't take any time to find them either--Shari leaned out the car window and found them naked eye. So we drove an hour and 45 minutes for a 1 minute bird (we actually spent 5 minutes admiring them). Then we drove over to the state park.

Things did not go as well over there. We spent two hours overlooking the beach, waiting for the Fork-tailed Flycatcher to reappear. It finally did--an hour and half after we left. Nor were there any shearwaters for Shari to add to her life list. We did, however, hear the piercing call of the Northern Bobwhite in the maintenance yard. It sounded like it was in the same tree as on Sunday, but this time there was no kind person to let us into the yard to view the back side of the tree.

Everything else we saw would be expected species; two American Oystercatchers, on the beach, one sitting in the sand as if on nest, filled out Shari's day. 2 out of 4 targets--not bad for a spur of the moment trip.

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