Monday, July 16, 2007

July 15 - Brigantine & Brooklyn

Today turned out to be an exceptional day. It began with viewing the Roseate Spoonbill near the Gull Tower at Brigantine NWR. This is just the second state-record for New Jersey.
Although I did not see this bird fly, some very nice views of the perched bird were had. These included looks at the fine pink coloring of the bird, the outstretched wings, and the namesake bill itself. (click to enlarge)

Afterwards a quick trip around the auto-route there produced fine views of the following:

Least Bittern, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Osprey, Peregrine, Whimbrel, Caspian Tern, Gull-Billed Tern, the Martins, Salt-marsh Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak. Shorebirds were both Yellowlegs, Least & Semi-Palmated Sand-peepers, Spotted Sandpiper, Willet, and Oystercatcher.

On the drive back north from Brig I received a call from Rob F. who said the Western Reef-Egret(Heron) had been re-located in Brooklyn. I had missed the bird at this spot on last Tuesday morning. So, our party took a brief, nevertheless costly, detour to the Drier-Offerman Park. Upon arriving we heard that the bird had flown away about an hour and a half before we go there.
Due to the tolls costs we just expended we decided to stay for a bit. After just over an hour, I saw the dark heron with a white throat flying back into the area whereupon it landed on one of the decaying barges there.

All were able to get nice clear views of this bird as it preened, and proceeded to show all of it's diagnostic field marks. Unfortunately the bird did not go into the water to feed while I was there.

When the day ended I said to everyone, I can't believe I just saw a Roseate Spoonbill AND a Western Reef-Egret without getting onto an airplane !!