Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Birds in the Fog

The fog was as thick as I have ever seen it as we arrived at Avalon's 8th Street jetty yesterday morning. The fog was so thick that it was impossible to see the end of the jetty from land, or land from the end of the jetty. It also foiled any chance of watching seabirds, except for handfuls of Black Scoters and Common Eiders that passed close to the jetty. A few Purple Sandpipers, Sanderling, and Ruddy Turnstones were foraging on the jetty's rocks. I will post photos of those later in the week. The story was much the same at Stone Harbor Point. Fog obscured any birds that were not standing on the public portion of the beach, which were mostly gulls and Sanderling. A pool near the observation platform held Brant, Dunlin, and Greater Yellowlegs.

The fog lifted for a time in the afternoon, which made a visit to Cape May Point State Park more productive than the morning stops. Once again, I missed the Ash-throated Flycatcher that has been reported there. Instead, I got great views of the Red-breasted Nuthatch at left, which was foraging in the pines along the boardwalk loop near Lighthouse Pond. The park's ponds held an assortment of waterfowl, pretty much the same species combination as yesterday, including the Eurasian Wigeon. There were also two Purple Finches (and possibly more) along the yellow trail. Eventually the fog rolled back in – so thick that the lighthouse was invisible from most of the park. A short stop at the Meadows produced great views of an American Bittern. It flew several times, from one feeding location to another.