Monday, November 17, 2008

November 8 - Cape May and Brigantine

This morning my friend Rob and I tried for the Thick-Billed Murre that had been reported in Cape May on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately for us the bird was not seen again, and on top of that the rain began falling on us after just a couple of hours.

We decided to head back north towards the Atlantic City area so we could do some birding at the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, which is more commonly known as Brigantine. The auto-tour route here allowed us to bird from the car when the raindrops fell, and in between rain squalls we got out and saw some pretty nice birds.

Of course, most of the shorebirds seen at this time of year are very plain because the birds are in their winter plumage. While this plumage makes the identification a bit harder, it also tests your skills, which makes finding even common birds quite exciting.

Some of the highlights were Sandpipers of Stilt, Western, Least, Pectoral, White-Rumped, Semi-Palmated, Dunlin, and both Yellowlegs.

The best bird of the day was the Hudsonian Godwit that gave us very nice looks.
credit: unknown

This bird is an annual, but rare visitor to New Jersey during it's fall migration to South America.