with Chris Bennett & Anthony Gonzon
It was a brisk morning at the beach for the final Sea Watch of this season; the rough, turbulent surf being enjoyed by many surfers on the north side of the Indian River Inlet as the tide was coming in. On the south side of the inlet we started atop the bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean where the slight elevation gives an advantage for observing seabirds on the water as they disappear from view in the troughs of the waves or when they must be relocated after diving for prey. The stand of pines behind this spot provides a habitat for songbirds such as the Slate-colored Juncos, Red-breasted Nuthatches & Field Sparrow we observed there. The group started out small & later we walked down onto the beach as more participants arrived. From there we could see farther down the inlet as well. Many Common Loons could be seen feeding on crabs fairly close to shore. Noteworthy were the 250 Northern Gannets flying north in small flocks offshore and the 12 American Oystercatchers flying north singly or in small numbers.
From the beach, we then drove to the campgrounds where seaside, saltmarsh & Nelson’s sparrows had been found recently. It was high tide so the birds were close to shore and with patience could be observed in the dense phragmites there. As always with Chris & Anthony as leaders this was a most enjoyable & educational field trip!
See our full trip eBird lists:
Indian River Inlet: https://ebird.org/checklist/S130744634
Delaware Seashore SP Campground: https://ebird.org/checklist/S130769532