Monday, July 11, 2016

Edwin B Forsythe Refuge (Part 2), Atlantic County Park, Estell Manor, New Jersey: Ruff, Prothonotary Warbler, Whip Poor Whil

So I just had to go back to New Jersey - I wanted my friend Mike (the snouty one) to have a chance to see the Red Necked Phalarope and figured it's easier if I showed him where I saw it/ her the day before.  Unfortunately, we did not see the phalarope but had many great consolation prizes.  We saw many of the same birds I saw the day before - Caspian Tern, Whimbrel, Gull Billed Terns, Short Billed Dowitchers, Clapper Rails and Willets.  The Willets threw us off a bit because they seemed to behave differently than what we normally observe.

We stopped at a shrubby/ grassy area that led to a pond - we didn't see much in the pond but around in the vegetation saw a Blue Grosbeak and Orchard Orioles.  We went on a wooded path near the visitor center where we saw Indigo Bunting, Marsh Wrens and a flycatcher which we think is either a Willow or Alder. (most likely Willow since Alders summer further north).  The area around the nature center had Purple Martin nests.

We drove around the path a few more times stopping at the spot where the Phalarope was seen, but instead saw a shorebird - after some careful viewing we determined it was a Ruff!

My friend wanted to check Atlantic City Park because he had a hunch there might be some breeding Prothonotary Warblers based on some not to recent ebird reports.  We also looked around for reported Red Headed Woodpeckers.  We found Carolina Chickadees, Eastern Bluebirds, flycatchers, Yellow Billed Cuckoos, Yellowthroated Warbler, Chipping Sparrows and an unusually yellow Pine Warbler.  Before it got too dark we checked out a path that looked like ideal Prothonotary habitat and we were right - a Prothonotary appeared.  Later on we heard a few Whip Poor Whils and one flew towards us - almost landing on us. 

A great day - one of my best and most memorable.

Marsh Wren
Blue Grosbeak
Orchard Oriole
Gull Billed Terns
Caspian Tern
Carolina Chickadee
Yellowthroated Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler (bad photo)

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