Seawatch - Friday, October 19, 2018

The first day of the Fall Festival was an excellent day with a strong flight!  The first hour saw a strong push of scoters, primarily Black Scoter, and we ended the day with 10,000 Black Scoter and 2500 Surf Scoter heading south.  Interestingly, we saw lots of northbound scoters, totaling 8000 birds.  These were no doubt part of the 15,000+ scoters that Tom Reed counted leaving the Delaware Bay throughout the morning.  These birds are wrapping around Cape May and heading north to winter anywhere from Long Island to Maine!

There was also a nice flight of dabbling ducks, headlined by Green-winged Teal, of which there were 821 southbound birds, often in sizable flocks but also mixed in with scoters.  Northern Pintail and American Black Ducks were making their presence known today, with over 100 of each flying by throughout the day.  Lots of Wood Ducks were also seen, totaling 75 for the day, often flying right overhead.  Northern Shoveler and American Wigeon came by in small numbers but were always a treat to see.  Other notable ducks seen were both Greater and Lesser Scaup, 9 White-winged Scoter, a Long-tailed Duck, and some Bufflehead.

A Horned Grebe was seen sitting in the inlet, but was not seen actively migrating so it was not "counted."  Some interesting birds came in off the ocean today, including another Yellow-billed Cuckoo, a Belted Kingfisher, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Cedar Waxwing, kinglets, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, and a Dark-eyed Junco. 

3500 cormorants moved by, mixing with scoters and sneaking by over Sea Isle, making counting challenging!  A late Black Skimmer headed south and a Common Tern was also seen in the huge gull feeding flock off the jetty, which included over 250 Bonaparte's Gulls!

The birds are picking up!  Come on out to the Seawatch!

Good birding,

No comments:

Post a Comment