Monday, September 5, 2011

A Very Birdy Weekend in Pictures

 [The coveted Sandwich Tern Lighthouse shot -  today at Cape May Point State Park. Tom Reed (who rumor has it just broke the NJ big year record, way to go Tom!) counted the following: 1755 Common Terns, 1310 Laughing Gulls, 305 Royal Terns, 7 Sandwich Terns, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and 4 Black Terns. And, it should be noted, that any such counting leaves of all the birds that are out in the rips feeding, and there are many, or were today.]

 [One of the Black Terns settles in over the flock, top bird. Note all the brown birds - hatch year Laughing Gulls, the LAGU's did amazingly well this year, as was evident when I visited the giant colony back of Stone Harbor in July.]

 [Black-bellied Plover in wing molt, over Great Channel near Stone Harbor yesterday. The active molt suggests this bird will winter locally - birds don't molt when they are migrating. My question, though, is how do we know this bird isn't engaged in molt migration - i.e. it's migrated to Stone Harbor, is going to hang out and molt for a while there, and then continue to migrate farther south. This bird, by the way, was fleeing. . . ]

[. . .this. I asked Melissa if she counted any Peregrines at the Cape May Hawk Watch yesterday, and she said one. Michael piped up that he had seen one at Higbee while doing a Monarch census. Wonder if it was this one, it was going south in the very early morning, though it clearly had breakfast on its mind.]

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