Saturday, March 18, 2006

Poor Man's Pelagic

After a rocky start (note to self: take photo ID when boarding the Cape May-Lewes ferry to avoid a high speed return to Yvonne's house for said ID), Yvonne and I joined the group from the CMBO as the very last passengers on the ferry Saturday morning. From the bow, we saw a Bonteparte's gull, a Bald Eagle, and a Northern Gannet - all before we were fully out of the dock. Along the way we got very good looks at both Black and Surf Scoters. There were literally hundreds of them at one point and we were sailing straight through them. It was nice to be able to see their little red feet running along the top of the water as they attempted to fly. We also got good looks at several Northern Gannets one of which followed the ferry for quite a while. A Peregrine Falcon flew right over our heads. Three Long-tailed Ducks were too far away for me to "own" them and thus I won't count them on my lifelist.

As we pulled into Lewes, we saw lots of Buffleheads, Brant, and Double-crested Cormormants plus one Pied-billed Grebe. Gulls on this side of the bay included Lesser Black-backed, Herring, Laughing and Ring-billed.

After debarkation, Yvonne and I when to Poverty Beach and the inlet near the Lobster House looking for Long-tailed Ducks. We didn't see any, but we did find several pairs of Common Mergansers and more Buffleheads and Brant.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Robin Song

Woke up to the sound of American Robins singing the rain song. A beautiful start to an otherwise crappy day.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Middle Creek in March

With the temperatures climbing to near 70, I took a half day of personal time and traveled to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Kleinfeltersville. I also took an avid photographer with me who had a new digital camera to try out. We first stopped at the main building and took some pictures of the inside displays. We then headed to Willow Point where we found thousands of Snow Geese (≈ 95,000) and Tundra Swans (≈2,000). A couple of Bald Eagles caused the geese to lift off several times which resulted in fantastic displays of white, wings, and noise. Also present at the point were Common Mergansers, Black Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Killdeer, flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Turkey Vultures, Common Grackles, and House Sparrows.

As we headed out of the parking lot toward the dam breast, we pulled over to the side of the road where one to two hundred Snow Geese were grazing in the fields. Took more pictures and then found some shade to view them on the full-size tablet PC screen. Ah, technology - very cool! Later, we pulled around the dam breast and watched a Belted Kingfisher. He was in full breeding plumage and looking very spiffy!

Can’t remember the name of the restaurant we stopped at for dinner. It was originally just a bladder stop, but we stayed for a bite to eat. It was a diner/ dairy bar that was billed as “utter-ly delicious”. The grilled cheese was the tiniest sandwich I ever saw, but the banana milkshake was supreme!

Links for pictures: