Saturday, July 1, 2017

Brig 7/1--Marbled Godwit

I was at Brig around 7:30 this morning; it was intermittently drizzly but that gave way quickly enough to high humidity, roaring winds, swarms of greenhead flies and even more annoying, swarms of oblivious photographers, two of whom stood in my way, two feet in front of the car with its engine running while they took pictures of...of course, Ospreys. By some miracle of restraint I didn't run them over. Wind AND flies goes against all sense and reason--one usually precludes the other, but not today. If I stood about 10 feet away from the car, the flies weren't too awful as they enjoy bouncing off the fenders of a warm auto, but the wind was maddening. In the car, no wind just dozens of flies which can be kept in check with the air conditioning, except that creates another wind in the car. Wind, flies, dust, jerks...why do I like this place? Oh yeah, birds.

And to make matters even more frustrating, I found a rarity, a Marbled Godwit, which had been reported yesterday, surrounded by a big flock of Glossy Ibis (which I had stopped to scan for the ever elusive White-faced Ibis), but when I went to get my camera, the bird disappeared. Gone to an alternate ornithological universe, I guess. Still, the large size and bi-colored, slightly upturned bill screamed godwit all the way.

The only other shorebirds present were a couple of oystercatchers, a yellowlegs, some Black-bellied Plovers, and good numbers of Willets and Short-billed Dowitchers. The ibis flocks outnumbered all the other herons and egrets combined. I was happy to find one each of Black-crowned Night-Heron and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, the latter clearly an immature bird.
American Oystercatcher
Black-crowned Night-Heron

By the time I finished my second trip around the dikes, I could write "I HATE FLIES & WIND" with my finger in the dust on the side windows of the car.

51 species
Canada Goose 95
Mallard 25
Double-crested Cormorant 4
Great Egret 27
Snowy Egret 21
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 1 NE corner
Glossy Ibis 105
Turkey Vulture 3
Osprey 15
Clapper Rail 4
American Oystercatcher 4
Black-bellied Plover 4
Marbled Godwit 1 Large shorebird with bicolored upturned bill.
Short-billed Dowitcher 29
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Willet 40
Laughing Gull 75
Herring Gull 30
Great Black-backed Gull 8
Least Tern 1
Gull-billed Tern 4
Forster's Tern 15
Black Skimmer 70
Mourning Dove 7
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 Leeds Eco Trail
Great Crested Flycatcher 2 Heard
Eastern Kingbird 2
American Crow 2 Heard
Fish Crow 8
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Purple Martin 15
Tree Swallow 20
Barn Swallow 10 Nesting beneath stairs of Leeds boardwalk, as in previous years
Tufted Titmouse 1 Feeder
House Wren 1 Heard
Marsh Wren 7 Heard
Carolina Wren 1 Heard parking lot
American Robin 2
Gray Catbird 3
Common Yellowthroat 5
Seaside Sparrow 10
Chipping Sparrow 3
Field Sparrow 1 Heard upland section
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 80
Common Grackle 4
Boat-tailed Grackle 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 10

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