Monday, September 13, 2010

Long-tailed and more

This morning dawned with moderate-strong W winds and just had the feeling like it would be one of those good days. From the beginning Red-necked Grebes were moving in large numbers and smaller numbers of ducks, loons, and Horned Grebes were evident amongst them. The birds that really bring people to the point didn't show up until 9:30 a.m. though, that's when the season's second Long-tailed Jaeger (an adult with broken off tail streamers) kited past the point, some distance away but close enough to still be appreciated. About 30 minutes later a juvenile Sabine's Gull made a short appearance and was then followed by a Red-necked Phalarope which was lost when it flew into the rip current at the point's tip. It took another few hours but eventually a juvenile Parasitic Jaeger came by (an unidentified bird flew past about the same time as the Long-tailed) to give a 2 jaeger species day. Guess it pays to be on that spit of land 8 hours a day every once in a while.

Beyond the highlights there was a good waterbird movement led by Red-necked Grebe which took the day's top spot with 1760 while Canada Goose was second with 242 and American Wigeon was the most common of the ducks with 73. Small numbers of Blue-winged Teal and other dabblers also made an appearance while diving duck numbers remained steady with Greater Scaup, White-winged Scoter, and Common Merganser being the most common from that group. Loons were present in increased numbers with 52 Common and 11 Red-throated seen today while 19 Horned Grebes joined their larger cousins. A young Forster's Tern joined the few Common Terns that were around this afternoon and an American Golden-Plover flew over calling on an otherwise poor shorebird day.

A non-waterbird count Wood Duck was flushed from one of the point's small ponds this afternoon while the woods on the point still held a few birds but were quieter than yesterday. Small flocks of passerines were moving around this afternoon made up mostly of Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, and White-throated Sparrows but a few others were among them including a Philadelphia and a Red-eyed Vireo, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Orange-crowned and Cape May Warblers, and a few Lincoln's Sparrows. A first for me on the point was a Ruffed Grouse that was in the underbrush near the Fog horn Pond.

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