Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saltmarsh Weekend

I've spent most of the last two days in salt marsh, yesterday posting refuge boundaries at Forsythe via airboat (and seeing more salt sparrows in one day than I have in a lifetime of looking); today, completing my third SHARP secretive marshbird survey at Tuckerton, where the Saltmarsh Sparrows are feeding young, some of them, anyway. Tuckerton was even more riddled with herons than usual, including 2 Tricolored, one Little Blue, a half-dozen Great Blues (post breeding dispersers, I guess), and many Black-crowned Night-herons.

If all goes well, tomorrow will be saltmarsh day 3 - the kayak's loaded in the truck, as is the waterproof (I hope) camera bag. Hope to get there at dawn, well before the crazies and their jet skis. . .

 [Glossy Ibis hunting Tuckerton high marsh. I love the color of Spartina patens in mid-summer - make that colorS. Ibis colors ain't bad, either.]

[The saltmarsh is riddled with Seaside Dragonlets now, by far the most common dragonfly of saltmarsh and the only one that breeds in saltwater.] 

[One of those little changes you notice only by repeat visits to a place. There haven't been Tree Swallows to speak of at Tuckerton (Great Bay Boulevard) on my previous visits - no nest boxes there, or none that I've seen. But the two top left and third from top right are juv Tree's, accompanied by parents that have moved them to good feeding grounds. Barn Swallows have been there all along - down here, they ought to be called dock swallows, since they're nesting under docks. The bottom left is a juv Barn, the second from top right is an adult female Barn.]

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