Saturday, June 5, 2010

Red Knot Feeding Frenzy

I made it out to the tern bar at Cockenoe Island,
at 6:30 this morning.
The first thing I noticed was a brouhaha with a American Oystercatcher doing battle with a Glossy Ibis, seems as though the ibis had way to much interest in one of the oystercatchers chicks. Eventually the ibis gave up and flew off.

Scanning the shoreline from the boat, I quickly found a number of Red Knot hanging along the shore, I found two flagged/banded birds out of the twenty two birds here.

As the tide dropped, the Red Knot and other shorebirds, started feeding very rapidly along the slowly exposing shoreline, horseshoe crabs have been laying eggs in this area lately, and the Red Knot have found them.

A bill full of horseshoe crab eggs. Click on photo for closeup.
Click twice for a closer look.

Searching the shallow shoreline for more Horseshoe Crab eggs.

They seem to peer into the water, sight feeding?

Most of the many hundreds of Semipalmated Sandpipers are doing

this display, rump is raised, tail lowered and primaries tilted upward.

They are very vocal and are chasing each other around the shoreline.
Raging Hormones?

I sort of forgot the hundreds of Ruddy Turnstones.

They are very beautiful in their breeding plumage.

One of the two banded Red Knot. This one was wearing green.

(no he's not Irish) This color indicates it was banded in the USA.

The number is NOK.

The other banded bird was a white flag YA, banded in Canada.

Must have been banded last year or earlier, since these birds

are still moving north and have not yet made it to Canada.
This Canada bird was reported at Mispillion Harbor, Osprey Point, Delaware
where it was documented from May 22 until May 30th this year.

Double Header Striped Bass on fly rods, nice!

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