Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Refugees II: Terns for the Better

I've often (too often) said this about poker, after losing: I'd play that hand the same way again. And I'll say the same thing about Irene, or maybe I'll adapt the old pilots' adage instead: I'd much rather be out of the storm wishing I was in it, than in the storm wishing I was somewhere else.

So I missed all the fancy storm birds my friends had at Cape May Point, or almost all of them: the White-tailed Tropicbirds, for example, and it should be noted that Mike Fritz, who apparently spotted the first one, has a tropicbird painted on his boat. But we managed to glean a few storm birds out in Bucks County:

 [Above and below: different views of the same two Sooty Terns at Lake Nockamixon on Sunday morning. These images are heavily cropped - these guys were a long way off.]

What better to do in a hurricane, when inland, than go to the nearest lake? Which for us was Lake Nockamixon, and during the period while the rains from the hurricane subsided and before the post-storm west wind kicked in, we hit some great birds. Our first stop found 15 Black Terns foraging over the flooded lake shore, and scoping over the lake yielded very distant view of our two Sooty Terns. We headed over to the boat launch area, where the terns eventually came a bit closer, and where numerous Common Terns and a few Caspians entertained. We also had a wayward Laughing Gull, pretty far from the coast.

[Black Tern at Lake Nockamixon.]

[And finally, one of the Caspians.]

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