Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Heat Wave - Day 1 - 17 Jul 2011
I then rode the dike separating the Lautenschager and Bloody Run Units all the way north until it hooked up w/ the trail that splits Nelson and Long Pond Units. I'd not ridden this trail in many years, so it was nice to turn up a Least Sandpiper, several Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, and an immature Bald Eagle.
Just as Alex left the two ibis flushed from the tall grass and landed approximately 150 yds. away. I attempted to digiscope them, but couldn't get a still image to save my life. I did manage a short video capture at full magnification (~180X). Mary retrieved Alex so that he could at least see the two ibis.
One adult bird still appears to be a pure White-faced Ibis, but is no longer showing much white feathering on the pinkish lores. Its eyes are still bright red. The other bird shows a slight tinge of red in its eyes, but are significantly darker. It showed almost no white on the lores, and could be easily mistaken for a Glossy Ibis at this point. I believe, though, that it is a probable hybrid...
15 Juvenile Forster's Terns (golden brown plumage w/ dark eye patches)
10 Juvenile Common Terns (dark carpal bar and a touch of tan feathering)
30 Non-breeding adult Common Terns (white foreheads, black bills, carpal bars)
20 Non-breeding adult Forster's Terns (black bills, dark eyepatches, no carpals)
30 Breeding adult Forster's Terns (black caps, orange bills w/ black tips)
25 Breeding adult Common Terns (black caps, blood-red bills w/ black tips)
Heat and moisture and distance combined to make digiscoping difficult.
I scanned the east shoreline of Cell 3 for shorebirds and pelicans, but came up w/ only a handfull of Ring-billed Gulls and a few dabbling ducks.
I decided to head back to the car and make for home.