Terns and Bird Refuge

Florence Sanchez

I checked on the East beach tern flock this morning only to find that most of them were on the sandspit at that time (about 8:30 a.m.). I didn't walk out there to count the numbers but it was a large flock.  A Small flock at the East Beach site left soon after for the ocean beyond.

I went on to the Bird Refuge and checked the parking lot area, and all three islands.  Unfortunately, I had not read Adam Searcy's post about an adult Neotropic Cormorant on one of the islands or I would have gone over the roosting cormorants more closely.  Therefore, I can't say whether or not it was still present this morning.  

I found no sign of the Cinnamon Teal I saw last week.  There were a few shorebirds present:  3 Least Sandpipers opposite the parking area; 1 fresh juvenile Western Sandpiper on the mud island off the third platform; 1 Dowitcher (appeared to be Long-billed, perhaps the same bird that was that last week) and Black-necked Stilts at several locations.  There also was a big flight of swallows over the water today, mostly Rough-winged Swallows and most of them were very young birds, still getting the hang of aerial flycatching.

An interesting bird hanging around the third island was a leucistic bird that appeared to be a Red-winged Blackbird.  It was a marvelous shade of ivory buff.

Florence Sanchez