We’ve been having a series of one gorgeous weather weekend after another, and it’s difficult for me to go anywhere other than Spoonbill Pond right now as a result (today’s checklist here). This morning I arrived just before 8AM (after doing a series of point counts around Fort George Island for nightjars and owls), and the tide was high…perfect conditions for the sparrows that inhabit the rocks and marsh grass around the boat ramp. It was a little buggy (no-see-ums), but the sparrows showed well – particularly the Seasides and Nelson’s. I counted at least 7 Seasides, some of which were singing. Most folks don’t realize they are breeders here, while the Nelson’s and Saltmarsh will very soon depart for the summer.
After observing the sparrows, I headed to the beach side first where just beyond the pond the coastal woods were bustling with singing and chattering land birds: Carolina Chickadees, White-eyed Vireos, Eastern Towhees, Northern Parulas, Yellow-throated Warblers, and this male Pileated Woodpecker.
I worked my way back along the beach and onto the boardwalk, noticing that Sanderlings were conspicuously absent today. The pond held 14 species of shorebirds (maybe 15 if a Long-billed Dowitcher was indeed mixed in, which is likely), including the recently arrived Black-necked Stilts. I also recorded a pair of American Oystercatchers that have been hanging around the area now for a few weeks. One is banded – with the exact same band – on both legs just above the knee. I will never understand the necessity of that and find it pretty disgusting. There is something about bird banding I just don’t get and will refrain from saying any more about it (for now) .
In all, another pleasant and energizing outing after a long and stressful workweek.