Sea Watch Wednesday December 22, 2010

Well, at the very least I can say that the last day of the 2010 CMBO Avalon Seawatch saw nice weather...much nicer than those days bracketing it especially. Bird-wise however, it was slow, at times almost excruciatingly so. 3 Great Cormorants migrating together were notable, and this is one of the few days, or possibly the only day, that Greats (3) outnumbered Double-cresteds (1) as migrants at Avalon. The persistent (going on something like two plus weeks at this point) strong northwesterlies stunted our detection of seabirds late in the season, but it also gave us a few sights we wouldn't have seen otherwise. The drake Harlequin Duck was around today once again, and has presumably settled in for the winter.

The species highlight was a young Black-headed Gull which came by very close to the Seawatch and then landed out by the jetty and then briefly on the beach before continuing on its way. Amazingly, this is the second year in a row that a Black-headed Gull has appeared at the Avalon Seawatch on the final day of the count (last year's was an adult during a large BOGU (Bonaparte's Gull) movement, while yesterday's young bird was on a day with only 14 BOGU throughout)!

The young beastie (mentioned right above) during its very brief stay on the beach.

It has been a truly amazing season, and once again a huge thanks go to to everyone at CMBO and the whole Cape May birding community. Without you guys it wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable (or possible for that matter). On behalf of Steve and Myself, Thanks!!!!

**Also, be sure to check out Steve's re-cap of the season which should be coming within the next couple of days once he's completed his long trip home to Ohio.

Total Individuals counted: 1,589

Location: Avalon Seawatch
Observation date: 12/22/10
Number of species: 42

Brant (Atlantic) 9
Canada Goose 3
Mallard 3
Lesser Scaup 3
Greater/Lesser Scaup 2
Common Eider 32 (10 migrants)
Harlequin Duck 1
Surf Scoter 476
White-winged Scoter 23
Black Scoter 346
Surf/Black Scoter 122
scoter sp. 99
Long-tailed Duck 92
Bufflehead 2
Hooded Merganser 5
Red-breasted Merganser 19
duck sp. 10
Red-throated Loon 52 (47 migrants)
Common Loon 6 (2 migrants)

Horned Grebe 1 Northbound
Northern Gannet 20 (6 migrants)
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Great Cormorant 6 (3 migrants, 3 juveniles sitting on jetty)
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Sanderling 4
Purple Sandpiper 35
Bonaparte's Gull 14
Black-headed Gull
1 Young bird, photos obtained
Ring-billed Gull 187
Herring Gull 96
Great Black-backed Gull 4
gull sp. 3
Rock Pigeon X
Downy Woodpecker 1
American Crow X
Red-breasted Nuthatch 4
American Robin 2
European Starling X
American Pipit 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 2
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 8
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 100
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow X

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