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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Martin Selzer

August 18, 2007
Edwin Forsythe NWR at Brigantine, New Jersey

Maybe it was the lure of recent reports of a roseate spoonbill, immature white ibis or a white pelican. Or maybe it was an almost fall like day with plenty of sunshine and a cool breeze to keep the mosquitoes and greenheads away. But whatever the reason, close to 40 people joined me on our field trip to the Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge, okay the Edwin Forsythe NWR. You go to a place since you were in elementary school you call it what you called it then. Regardless, a DVOC car caravan stretching upwards of 15 vehicles darkened the horizon as we made the loop around.

While we didn’t have any of those birds or if we did, news of them never reached the front of the caravan. We did have a very cooperative American Bittern at the Gull Tower, a hunting Peregrine Falcon, a feeding Bald Eagle, and a Red-necked Phalarope. Other highlights were several Bobolinks, a good mix of terns including Gull-billed, Least, Forster’s and Black Skimmers. Recent rains had raised the water levels putting most of the shorebirds a bit distant but we still found a decent mix including both dowitchers, Pectoral, Spotted, Least, Semipalmated and Western Sandpipers; Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated and Black-bellied Plovers, Willets and Whimbrels.

There were a few Long-billed Marsh Wrens singing, Song and Seaside Sparrows about but our focus was on the shorebirds and long-legged waders in hopes of finding something rare. Thanks to everyone for coming. It was a great day to be out birding.