Sunday, May 9, 2010

Atlantic County

I spent the entire day scouting a possible route change through Atlantic County and since it's an area we don't usually scout it meant I had to check out every little corner of the area.Some things turned out pretty well, and Peaslee WMA had lots of Summer Tanagers, several Prothonotorys, Blue Grosbeaks, and a territorial Coopers Hawk.  I had two nice bonus birds along a powerline cut today that won't be there for WSB but were a nice surprise.  There was an Olive-sided Flycatcher perched atop a dead pine and I had a very late Palm Warbler when I got out of the car to look at the Coopers Hawk.  In the town of Dorothy (what an odd name) I found a Red-headed Woodpecker that came out of it's nest hole and quickly went back in because it was only 39 degrees out.  I saw 2 others flying by in the area, so there are lots around there.  

I tried to scout the Atlantic City Airport at Pomona for Upland Sandpiper that I know is there, but in this post 9/11 world it isn't even legal to stop along the road there!  I'd imagine they would shoot to kill if I looked through a scope.  I was not happy about it because I know there are at least 2 pairs there and we might be driving right by them.  I have seen them right from the terminal area years ago before all this paranoia... 

Last stop was a quick spin around Brigantine in the still 40mph wind gusts.  Right away I had 12 Gull-billed Terns, 2 Caspians from the Gull tower and 4 Green-wing and 2 Blue-winged Teal.  Great start, but it got real slow after that.  I did see a distant Am. Wigeon and had some Bobolinks (we need a spot for that one) as well as a couple of Blue Grosbeaks.  Overall it was really pretty dreadful there.  Very few shorebirds and those were specks.  The worst part was that the single (injured) Snow Goose hanging on there was eaten the day before by a Bald Eagle, so now we have no Snow Goose.  There are too many Eagles around nowadays when all your linger waterfowl keep getting eaten.  Bert and I ended the day talking strategy (and had a beer) while we waited to see what time "Chuck's" and "Whips" would call.  We had a bonus calling Barred Owl while we waited, nice way to end the day.


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