Birding Plum Island – 45 species on July 3rd

On July 3rd, old pal and West Newbury resident Greg Keller and I invested a couple of hours birding Plum Island, MA. The area birders refer to as “Plum Island” is a complex of state, federal, and local management units, with most of the great birding concentrated at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

As expected, we had a great day at Plum Island. I got to see Bobolinks, Willets, Seaside Sparrows, Salt Marsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows – all species I rarely get the chance to enjoy these days. We dipped out on King Rail, unfortunately, but we did well otherwise. Purple Martins were still hanging around their nests, but Tree and Barn swallows were amassing for their journey south. Willets were agitated, indicating that they had young in the vicinity – two of which we saw bobbing in the water in a pool with some ducks. Piping Plovers had several day old young out of the nest, and the adults were giving them a good bit of freedom.

The best find of the day, however, was a flyby Ruff. This was a gorgeous male which was a lifer for Greg and a virtual lifer (I saw a reeve at Craney Island, VA in 1990) for me. The bird was glossy black on the breast with a white belly, and yellow legs and bill base. We never re-found the bird after the quick look, but it was diagnostic and at least one male ruff has been resighted at Plum Creek since we were there on the 3rd.

So, here’s the quick list:

salt marsh sharp-tailed sparrow
marsh wren
mute swan
tree swallow
purple martin
double-crested cormorant
european starling
gray catbird
american redstart
yellow warbler
willow flycatcher
american black duck
common yellowthroat
song sparrow
red-winged blackbird
common grackle
brown thrasher
lesser yellowlegs
least sandpiper
bonaparte’s gull
black-bellied plover
piping plover
great egret
snowy egret
great black-backed gull
herring gull
black-crowned night-heron
eastern kingbird
glossy ibis
american crow
northern mockingbird
cooper’s hawk
eastern towhee
cedar waxwing
blue jay
american robin
house sparrow
ring-billed gull
american goldfinch

This entry was posted in birding, birds/nature, environment, life, Links. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s