Sunset Birding at Stone Harbor Point - Tuesday, October 25th 2011

This was our last walk of the year and quite a crowd showed up for so late in the season!  Thankfully we had plenty of leaders helping out this week.  We had a fast rising tide due to the New Moon, so we started at the base of the free bridge to Nummy where we saw a large flock of Brant and fast disappearing mudflats.  They still held a flock of American Oystercatchers, some other shorebirds and a pair of "western" Willets that were up to their bellies in water.  A Peregine sat nearby on an osprey platform watching the same flock as us, but with different intentions. We returned to the point and walked the dune path to the beach, and along the way we studied Swamp. Song, and Savannah Sparrows as we flushed them from the vegetation.  The beach held huge numbers of shorebirds including a few red knot, and a flock of late Semi-palmated Plover but no sign of the Piping Plovers we saw last week.  There was also a very cooperative adult Lesser Black-backed Gull that was almost too lazy and wouldn't even stand to show off his yellow legs until we were leaving.  The real show this week was out in the ocean and there were lots of Gannets diving offshore, Loons, and Scoter flying South and even Royal terns feeding in the surf.  There were also several pods of Bottlenosed dolphin frolicking and feeding just offshore and one pod actually flushed 3 Horned Grebes.  The Grebes landed close to our group and posed for nice scope views as the Dolphins came right by them again.  That may be the first time I've seen those two species interact because they're almost never here at the same time!  we had a huge roosting flock of shorebirds on the beach and we sorted through them until we ran out of light.
49 species

Brant  280
American Black Duck  8
Surf Scoter  60
Black Scoter  16
Common Loon  1
Horned Grebe  3
Northern Gannet  26
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  5
Great Egret  25
Snowy Egret  12
Black-crowned Night-Heron  X
Osprey  2
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Peregrine Falcon  1
Black-bellied Plover  260
Semipalmated Plover  16
American Oystercatcher  28
Willet (Western)  2
Ruddy Turnstone  8
Red Knot  38
Sanderling  1200
Western Sandpiper  6
Dunlin  400
Short-billed Dowitcher  2
Laughing Gull  X
Ring-billed Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Lesser Black-backed Gull  1
Great Black-backed Gull  X
Royal Tern  6
Rock Pigeon  X
Mourning Dove  4
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  2
Fish Crow  X
Tree Swallow  X
Carolina Wren  1
American Robin  X
Northern Mockingbird  1
Palm Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  12
Savannah Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  4
Swamp Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Boat-tailed Grackle  X
House Finch  4
House Sparrow  X

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (