Monday, July 23, 2007

July 21 - Stone Harbor & Brigantine

A few friends and I visited Stone Harbor, however we arrived too close to high tide and many of the birds had already left. The specialties here are shorebirds and terns.

Some of the noteworthy birds seen here today included the Royal Tern with it's breeding colony, numerous Common Terns, a lone Brown Pelican, nearly a dozen Red Knots, breeding plumaged Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Piping Plover, Black-Bellied Plover, a Northern Gannet, and Whimbrel.
A quick stop at the Wetlands Institute produced a beautiful and quite active Tri-Colored Heron.

We missed some of the more sought after species of Sandwich Tern, Gull-Billed Tern, and the vagrant Curlew Sandpiper that had recently been reported.

Afterwards we stopped at Brigantine, as one in the party needed the Gull-Billed Tern as a lifer. Almost immediately we were able to find this bird for John. Other species seen here again were Caspian Tern, Least Bittern, Blue-winged Teal, Purple Martin, and Clapper Rail, this time being the chicks that were seen.

Later some other birding friends from Sandy Hook Bird Observatory pointed out the brilliantly-colored Western Sandpipers to us.

Our group was able to reciprocate by locating a pair of Cattle Egret and a single Pectoral Sandpiper.

Overall, another fine day of birding was had by all.