Friday, September 6, 2013

Brigantine/Forsythe NWR, September 1st and Allentown NJ shorebirds Sept 2nd

With Jamaica Bay being uninspiring I've been spending some time at Forsythe/Brigantine NWR although even here the shorebird diversity is starting to drop.  Semipalmated Sandpipers dominated the scene, but Eastern Willets and Whimbrels have left.  I was lucky to find two Stilt Sandpipers, which have become scarce.  What was nice to watch was a mixed flock of Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers - mostly Long-billed - giving good options to compare the structure of the two.  While individual birds remain tricky the side-by-side comparisons offer up the expected overall trend of the bulkier body of the Long-billed.  Brig and the rest of southern NJ is a pretty good place for this, and Long-billed remain rather scarcer in NY.

Although in all sorts of messy molt, terns put on a decent showing.  I haven't seen a Common Tern here all year but Least and Gull-billed Terns have been regular in small numbers, the Caspian Terns were in the double digits and I also had a Royal Tern for a pretty good selection.  Forster's Terns and Double-crested Cormorants were feasting on localized schools of fish in the tidal brackish impoundment.

Although Brig is winding down for shorebirds, the area north of Allentown NJ along Sharon Station Road, Herbert and Gordon Roads has been pulling in a nice variety of shorebirds in lower numbers.  On Sept 2nd I finally got lucky with my quest for American Golden-Plover with one seen in a flooded field along Sharon Station Road.  Later on that same pond held Pectoral, Solitary and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Killdeer are everywhere, with a few Semipalmated Plovers joining them, plus a small flock of Least Sandpipers commuting between the Herbert Road field and the ephemeral pond along Gordon Road.  Although I've missed the relative rarities (Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Baird's Sandpiper) here it's fairly close to home and an interesting area to rummage around.

Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Glossy Ibis
Clapper Rail
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Forster's Tern
Least Tern
Black Skimmer
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Saltmarsh Sparrow

Herbert/Sharon Station Rds
American Golden-Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Pectoral Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Horned Lark

No comments: