Friday, September 6, 2013

Jamaica Bay, August 19th

On what has turned out to be my only trip to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge this year, I did a circumnavigation of the East Pond (northbound up the shoreline, southbound down the trail) which turned out to be ill-advised on a quite warm day, while wearing waders.  In common with the general trend this year the shorebird numbers were unimpressive, with relatively low diversity.

Hurricane Sandy did a little remodeling on the East Pond - there's a trench along the south side of the East Pond where the (now apparently trashed) home had cut back the phragmites, although it's traversable, and there's a filled cut on the east side parallel to the train tracks.  So the salinity has probably gone up somewhat in the pond in the short term.

Nevertheless Semipalmated Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers and Least Sandpipers were numerous here.  Both Semipalmateds were mostly adults, but I saw a lot of juvenile Least Sandpipers on the trek, as well as quite a few juvenile Short-billed Dowitchers.  Both Western Sandpiper and Long-billed Dowitcher are uncommon to rare at Jamaica Bay, and commoner further south at Brigantine, and I didn't see either of those.  I did manage to snag a first-of-year White-rumped Sandpiper at the south end of the East Pond, wading in the cut with Dowitchers.  I saw a few more of them for a total of ~6.  Shorebirds were fairly nervous, with a juvenile Peregrine hunting the ponds periodically.  Up at the north end I saw American Avocet, Wilson's Phalarope, a Stilt Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone and a large flock of Black-bellied Plovers to flesh out the list.  The only two noteworthy ducks were Gadwall and a single Northern Pintail but otherwise it's a large number of Mute Swans, Mallards and American Black Ducks.

Northern Pintail
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Glossy Ibis
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Phalarope
Forster's Tern
Black Skimmer
Barn Swallow
Yellow Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Boat-tailed Grackle

No comments: