Friday, May 30, 2008

Heislerville WMA, May 29th 2008

In another part of Heislerville WMA I spent Thursday morning admiring the collection of shorebirds and Laughing Gulls gathered to feed off Horseshoe Crab eggs. There were a good number of Red Knots, second only in number to the abundant Semipalmated Sandpipers. Laughing Gulls and Ruddy Turnstones were also numerous, there were several Sanderlings (less than I had anticipated) and a few Short-billed Dowitchers. And precisely one Willet.

What there weren't many of, however, were Horseshoe Crabs, and I saw several dead ones and about 10 live ones. Of course it's past full moon, and despite the presumably warming water it is not optimal spawning conditions. Who knows if they will wait for the next full moon (mid-late June) or will finish spawning sooner ?

Further away from the shore I found my first-of-season Willow Flycatcher, and the Seaside Sparrows and Marsh Wrens were numerous in the salt marsh. The water level in the impoundment at Heislerville had dropped considerably since as recently as last Monday, making it less than ideal for photography. I watched shorebirds trickling into the impoundment as the tide rose, but I decided to try and beat traffic and left the area at 3:30pm. I did not find the Curlew Sandpiper(s) but the light was harsh and the birds were in the center of the impoundment rather than pushed further towards the edges.

Tide predictor for Delaware Bay
Moon phase predictor

No comments: