Monday, May 21, 2007

May 20 - Heislerville and Belleplain

The first stop today was at Belleplain State Forest. Immediately we had singing Yellow-Throated Warblers outside of the Ranger's office. We got some quick tree-top view of the birds here.
Later at the triangle parking area on Sunset Road, we got even more looks at this bird, now a bit closer. Also seen were extended views of Prothonotary Warbler. There were at least two birds singing in this area. A Hooded Warbler, with a unique ending to his song, made a nice appearance.
We had amazingly close looks at a beautiful male Summer Tanager. He obligingly came out of the woods to the roadside, as if to say "I'm over here, look at me!"

We also visited Heislerville, NJ for the pair of Curlew Sandpipers. I had previously seen this bird at Bombay Hook in Delaware a few years ago, however that was from afar during a rain shower. So to see this bird in bright sunlight and at very close range -- and be a bright breeding plumaged male -- was moreso like a "life-bird" experience than the prior sighting !
more of Howard Eskin's photos of this bird can be found here:!CurlewSandpiper/CurlewSandpiper.html

There is also an adult female Curlew Sandpiper, and often both of these birds were in the same view simultaneously.
A White-Rumped Sandpiper was found by Bill E., and subsequently enjoyed by many.
Others here today were stunning Black-Bellied Plovers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least & Semi-Palmated Sandpipers, many Semi-Palmated Plovers, and Short-Billed Dowitchers.