Seawatch - 18 October 2014

Observation time: 0610 - 1834
Observer: Skye Haas

Species counted:
Brant - 312
American Black Duck - 7
Northern Pintail - 4
Surf Scoter - 47
Black Scoter - 291
Scoter sp. - 9
Common Loon - 9
Northern Gannet - 6
Brown Pelican - 19
Doube-crested Cormorant - 951
Great Cormorant - 1
Great Blue Heron - 21
Great Egret - 173
Snowy Egret - 58
Laughing Gull - 115
Great Black-backed Gull - 7
Forster's Tern - 94
Royal Tern - 43
Parasitic Jaeger - 5
Jaeger sp. - 1
American Oystercatcher - 13
Sanderling - 1,340
Dunlin - 80
Red Knot - 45
Dowitcher sp. - 1
Ruddy Turnstone - 2
Semipalmated Plover - 4
Black-bellied Plover - 187
Sempalmated Sandpiper - 1
Calidris sp. - 15

Total: 3,861

Monarch - 197
Buckeye - 9
Red Admiral - 5
Mourning Cloak - 4

A note from Skye:
Ok, so we have been in a little bit of a slump lately but as I type this, I can hear the wind picking up and I am very hopeful that a big push of birds for tomorrow
So today... It was not too happening but there is always something to catch one's eye when running a day long count. Foremost, I got a new seawatch bird- a White-breasted Nuthatch so huzzah for forest birds lost on well-developed barrier islands! After several days of only a few birds present, Ospreys made a modest push today, likely birds in active migration coming down the coast. Red Knots made a decent show with a couple of flocks flying by. Ducks were again pretty pitiful in numbers, but I really think thats about to change in the next day or so. Only a few jaegers today, but one was a sharp-looking dark morph. All other adult Parasitic Jaegers I've had this season have been light morphs. But the highlight of the day came in the last two hours of the count when waders made a big push down the coastline with 21 Great Blue Herons, a rousing 173 Great Egrets and 58 Snowy Egrets. At one point a flock of egrets came low over the ocean behind the rips, and were veiled in the spray of the breakers- a very lovely sight in the early evening light. Enchanting creatures!

Great Egrets. [Photo by Skye Haas.]
Bald Eagles. [Photo by Skye Haas.]

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