Monday, August 27, 2012

Southern NJ - August 25th/26th

A non-birding trip to the Atlantic City area led me to (inevitably) add in some visits to the Brigantine Division of Forsythe NWR and a quick look around Cape May.

I started the 25th on the beach at Longport NJ, which is at the south end of the Atlantic City island and not a specific birding location.  Nevertheless there were good numbers of Sanderling on the beach and a few Semipalmated Plovers mixed in - not really the bird you associate with feeding at the surf line but a reminder that on migration these birds do get everywhere.  A local Peregrine Falcon and an Osprey kept the shorebirds moving around.

At Sunset Beach in Cape May (aka the Concrete Ship) there were no pelagics, but instead a handful of terns - Common, Forster's, Royal and with three Black Terns in the mix.  A few shorebirds on the beach were Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone and one Semipalmated Sandpiper.

At the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (the place that I always call South Cape May Meadows - its former name) had a few shorebirds on the ponds (Least/Semipalmated Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs) and quite a few flyby terns - mostly Forster's and one Gull-billed over the preserve and Royal Tern seen flying up the beach.  A juvenile Peregrine Falcon spent a little time scaring things on the pond (including Green-winged Teal) but there were few passerines in evidence.  Two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were seen migrating through.

At Brig over the two days I had basically the same birds on both visits: huge numbers of Tree Swallows (with some Barns) over the marsh, a typical assortment of shorebirds (Semipalmated Plover, Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstone, Dowitcher sp, Black-bellied Plover), Egrets, Herons and Ibis and the usual raptors: Osprey and Peregrines.  The first Northern Harrier for the colder months was over the marsh.  The tide was very high for the first visit which led me to see a Clapper Rail sprinting across an open channel between the flooded saltmarsh.

Nothing unusual or unseasonal on this trip, although the Black Terns were my first for the year.

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