Birding Notes and Photos From the Past Week (4/25/10)

I’ve gotten a good amount of birding and year listing done during the past week, adding 10 year birds along the way. I began the week birding some local spots including Ash Creek, South Pine Creek and Sherman Marsh/Field/Park. Highlights included the following:

1 of the 3 Lesser Yellowlegs present at Ash Creek

A beautiful breeding-plumaged Swamp Sparrow at South Pine Creek

A pair of American Black Ducks. After foraging a bit, they disppeared into the trees overhanging the water. Perhaps swimming to a nest?

Other highlights included a Northern Harrier at Ash Creek and many singing birds seen and heard throughout the day.

Song Sparrow, Ash Creek

Two days later, my grandfather and I birded many spots along the coast including: Sherman, Milford Pt., Stratford Pt., Long Beach, and Southport Beach. That day, I felt it was a great opportunity to try out digibinning for the first time. I got a great start to the day at Sherman where I saw some early migrants and nesting residents including the following highlights: Hermit Thrush,Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Pine Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and two Mallards.

Mallards, Sherman (digibinned)

We then moved onto Milford Pt. where we noted some continuing Green-winged Teals in the marsh, a Lesser Yellowlegs, and nesting Tree Swallows. On our walk out ton the bars, some of the commoner species were noted. When we reached the flats, we saw some of Milford Pt.’s more publicized residents, the Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers.

Piping Plover Nesting

Piping Plover

Piping Plover

American Oystercatcher

American Oystercatcher

Further down the beach, we encountered 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, a few Brant, foraging Snowy Egrets and a good-sized flock of Sanderling and Dunlin.

Red-breasted Merganser

On the walk back, I was able to get some more digibinning practice.

American Robin (digibinned)

Moving on to Stratford Point, where we encountered a somewhat late flock of 20 Red-breasted Merganser, 10 Brant, and 2 more Oystercatchers. This was my first visit to the point and I was pleasantly surprised with the place. It seemed like a half-decent rarity trap and could be the place of good finds by birders to come.

Over at Long Beach we encountered more loons offshore and a continuing 2nd cycle Glaucous Gull. (See post from March 3 also with this bird) I combined digibinning with regular photography and got an especially got opportunity when, at one point it flew right up to me allowing fantastic views and photo ops.

2nd cycle Glaucous Gull (digibinned)

2nd Cycle Glaucous Gull

The last stop of the day was Southport Beach where I had made multiple tries for a dwindling number of Bonaparte’s Gulls. I was able to find only one bird, probably the last of the season among a good-sized flock of 20+ Brant.

Bonaparte's Gul, molting into alternate plumage with blotchy face

Brant, frantically feeding on eelgrass

A piece of the flock

It was fun couple of days. Right now is an exciting time to bird as new migrants are arriving every day.

-AB

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