Monday, May 13, 2013

Samples from Cape May

Clapper Rail is easy to hear in the New Jersey salt marshes, but a sighting is often a matter of luck, or long patience waiting for one to walk into the open. But it is Spring, they have just arrived, the hormones are surging, and they are hyper. At Jake's landing I kept seeing the birds pop out of the marsh grasses, fly a short distance, then disappear into the grasses again. But I was patient and tried to be alert. The payoff:

Clapper Rail
Clapper Rail

Wrens are compact bundles of energy and irrepressible song. Higbee's Beach WMA teemed with Carolina Wrens; Jake's Landing hosted vocal duels from Marsh Wrens, and in various places House Wrens let their song tumble forth. It was a particular treat to see the House Wrens in a "natural" setting, rather than a backyard setting ...

Carolina Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
 The Red-winged Blackbird is rightly appreciated for the bright red epaulets which he flashes to intimidate rivals and attract females. The female is usually passed over as a rather dull, medium-sized, brown bird, but the one below demonstrated an often overlooked and under appreciated variety and beauty ...

Red-winged Blackbirds - female
Red-winged Blackbird - female
Red-winged Blackbird - male displaying
 Courtship season is going full tilt. Forster's Terns used the same land posting at Jake's Landing that I have seen them use in previous years. The gentleman on the right did not bring the lady a fish, and after a few moments she flew off in an apparent huff ...

Forster's Terns

... and across the marsh, the Willet winged back and forth with their "pee-will-willet pee-will-will-it" ...

Willet
 And finally, the Seaside Sparrow is not much to look at, and nor is his song much to listen to, unless you happen to be another Seaside Sparrow in the throes of the breeding season ...

Seaside Sparrow
Good birding!

2 comments:

Chris Rohrer said...

Wonderful shots!!! I think I would have been super thrilled with the Clapper Rail. In fact, anytime I spot one a little cheer goes on in the back of my mind. Congrats!

eileeninmd said...

Awesome! Great shots of the Clapper Rails.

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