Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Storm Birds, Storm Birding

 ["Holy Smoke!" That was my reaction when my friend Erin Kiefer asked, via facebook, for help identifying this juvenile Red-billed Tropicbird - a howling rarity, apparent second state record - which was brought into the Woodford-Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge today. It was apparently found near Carney's Point, way up the Delaware Bay. Photo by Erin Kiefer.]

That Sandy made landfall north of Cape May spared us a great deal of flood damage (you DON'T want to be northeast of the eye, just ask NYC), but so far it seems it spared us spectacular birds.. . .

Well, except for the tropicbird, above, and a number of Band-rumped Storm-petrels reported around the state, and nice numbers of Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers.

Living as I do north of Cape Island, I was one of a number of birders who tried to get onto the island and failed. I'm a lousy liar - nope, no home or business in Cape May, just trying to go birdwatching. Got some nice police-officer smirks for that one. Oh well, there were birds along the bay, too, including both jaegers, plenty of gannets, all three scoters, and others at Miami Beach in the Villas.

With the intense rainfall, 10 or more inches on the bayshore, Fishing Creek is dumping water into the bay like crazy - and fish, baitfish that is, and the terns were concentrated at the outflow.

 [Forster's tern at Miami Beach, NJ in front of storm clouds.]

 [Northern Gannets were constant on the bay, many flying south toward the ocean close to shore.]

[Two geese, Brant over Canadas. Click to enlarge photos.]

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