Friday, April 24, 2009

Birding Plum Beach and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

On Thursday, I decided to head out for an early morning visit to Plum Beach to see what other migrants might have arrived since the restoration project on Saturday. As I entered the marsh area, my first observation was American Oystercatchers at the tip of the marsh. I counted about four of them, and then I noticed a raised head from among the Phragmites. A closer look revealed a Little Blue Heron, a first of the year for me. Little Blue Herons are gorgeous birds and I maneuvered into a position where I was able to get a decent photo. After observing this bird for a while I moved on leaving it to feed. Further into the marsh, I heard the call of a Willet and tracking the sound, I found 3 of them feeding near the mud flats. In addition to the Willet, I also found a Greater Yellowlegs, presumably one of the two seen on Saturday. Further checking the marsh, I found a Great Egret and also a Snowy Egret. On My way out, I spotted one Killdeer. I left Plum Beach and headed to JBWR. I was supposed to do some work with my friend Don Riepe, but he was not able to make it, so I decided to bird the West Pond at JBWR. It was quite windy at the refuge; nevertheless, I did get a Blue gray Gnatcatcher right outside the visitor’s center and a Canvasback duck on the West pond. Other than that the usual species of Ruddy Ducks, Red-breasted Mergansers and Greater Scaup were the dominant presence on the West Pond. The North and South gardens were pretty quiet with nary a warbler present. Hopefully things pick up by Saturday at the refuge because I will be there co-leading a walk. Share with Bookmark and Share

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