Saturday, August 28, 2010

Brigantine NWR, August 28th

Making a little of a lethargic start I opted to go check out shorebirds at Brigantine NWR, with high tide expected around the middle of the day. There was a large flock of Tree Swallows at the Gull Pond tower turn-around but the tower was under construction.

Recent rain seem to be reflected in the pools being relatively high on water, although the north-western pool looked like it had been drained down to provide more shorebird habitat. I came away with not too much diversity, at least in part because I went around prior to high tide and because the driest pool put the shorebirds deep into the heat haze. Best shorebirds were a couple of Pectoral Sandpipers, missing the Buff-breasted and Avocets seen later in the morning. Spotted Sandpiper, both Yellowlegs, Willet, Semipalmated Sandpiper (abundant), Least Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover and Ruddy Turnstone rounded out the total. Ospreys and two Peregrines were the raptors seen. At the "tern sluice" there were no Common Terns but a nice extra were two juvenile Least Terns and a molting adult - a species I see infrequently there. Other terns included abundant Forster's, a few Caspians, and Black Skimmer. Two Blue Grosbeaks at the dogleg and a fast moving Ruby-throated Hummingbird were two other notables.

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