Back 'Forsything-it"..... Sunday..... As you can tell, the Black Crown Night Herons were out and about. As to were the gnats. Now, a few weeks ago I was in South Carolina at one of the Plantations and someone provided us with a real awesome bug spray (non-deet). It was labeled No Gnat, or something to that effect but wow, it really worked. So prior to heading to Forsythe, I headed to Dicks. They had a lot of deet products and some others that I have tried before, with not much luck. So, I headed off to the neighboring sporting goods store just down the road and I felt like I walked into the same place....I mean, they look the same inside. Why are two stores--that close; that close? Beats me. Even had the same products, none of which I wanted......So, I Forsythed it without bug spray.
A mistake............ The Boardwalk was fine with Ibis's galore. Funny, when you read the field guides, one begins to understand that perhaps, just perhaps....there might be a White-faced Ibis tucked in with the Glossy. Now the funny part is that down in Patagonia Arizona, they say that there might be a Glossy Ibis tucked in amongst all of the White-faced. So the moral of that little tidbit is that if you just go to where they are fairly 'native' to begin with, you don't have to worry about finding that one lost soul amongst the others. I spent the past few weeks in Arizona hunting for the Glossy, and here in New Jersey...I spend my time hunting for the White-faced. While .......I saw aplenty of each, just in a different locale. The same has occurred to me with Mississippi Kites. I would go down to Cape May and stare up, and find a few kites a few miles away, or so it would seem. Then I head down to Duro Canyon in west Texas and find they have permanent residence status. So....go to where they are, is my advice.
I met a nice couple from New York on the Boardwalk who mentioned they heard the Black Rail down at Stepson's Island Road, hence....after Forsythe, I headed down to the Belle Plain area. More on that to come....
Gull pond and the tower....home of our Duck brigade of birders just the day before, hosted little to entice one. But down the first leg of the drive....oo la la.... That is, if one could have possibly managed to get out of the car or open the window a fraction without having been eaten raw by gnats. I would stop the car and roll down the window and I would slowly see this mist of gnats beginning to form like a cloud of dust. The longer the window was down....the more they came at me. Even after rolling up the window the gnats had already entrenched themselves all over the car and my body. Not having any bug spray at all.....they found me.
But after rolling up the windows I would speed up to the max speed of 'whatever' and then roll the windows down once more. With my hat, I would be reaching around the car inners to wallop them away and out the window. I must have looked like a madman from behind with my arms flaying, hat swishing the car top....my car drunkenly pacing itself down the drive from one side to the other. Then, I would quickly roll up the windows....stop...gaze around to see the Dunlins, Dowitchers (I think short), Willets, and yes....this Night Heron basking in the sun. I tried to take a shot of this heron with the windows up (as I like to pretend I learn from my mistakes) but to no avail as the window was already smeared with dead gnats. So I unrolled the window---grabbed a few shots....and then sped up and did my crazy man routine once more.
Along about the second leg.....hey mom, no gnats...... A few good birds such as the Black Bellied Plover though and a continuation of the Forster's Tern. As Don Freiday would say, one can always appear smart by knowing that they are Forster's Terns since they love these marsh waters while the Common Tern is the one you see at the beaches swooping around the waves. Remember that.... See below....a good shot of Forster's Tern.
The the return leg offered no such luck with the American Pelicans visibly absent among anything dressed in white and the Marbled Godwit apparently decided not to 'wait it out' until I returned from Arizona. Oh well....another day. But the osprey are out....and for some reason I was around right at feeding time as I saw 4 of them throughout the drive 'perched' pecking away at lunch.
I ended up the drive by going to the Experimental Pond....looking for 'anything' and usually I find nothing there....pure experimental. One day I am going to be at the pond and I will be amazed. I know that day is coming.
So.....on to Belle Plain.......