Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Little Bit of Higbee, and Horseshoe Crabs on the Bay

 [The star, or starlet, of the pools atop the Higbee Beach dike Monday morning: Wilson's Phalarope.]

I went to Higbee Beach WMA, NJ Memorial Day morning with visions of Mourning Warbler and other late migrants in my head, but alas, migrants were few indeed.  I had three birds I believe were likely migrants, those being a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, a Willow/Alder Flycatcher and an American Redstart. A previously reported Wilson's Phalarope still lingered at the dike, and there was other action at Higbee, too:

[First Year male Orchard Oriole singing away at Higbee Beach WMA, where they breed.]
[These two Northern Cardinals were intent on battle in the Higbee parking lot, though I didn't see actual contact.  A good thing - having been bit by cardinals while banding, I can say that they probably avoid bill to bill conflict at all costs, because the cost of a bite would be high.]

Memorial Day evening we had signed on to do a horseshoe crab survey at Reed's Beach, and a big spawn was underway as the tide crested and then fell.

[Over two dozen horseshoe crabs fit in our meter-square quadrat at some sampling points Monday night - heartening news for crabs and crab-egg-eating shorebirds.]

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