Date: 8/23/19 6:30 pm From: whoffman (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...> Subject: Terns, shorebirds at N. Topsail Beach
I birded the NE end of Topsail I. this morning.
Tern numbers are lower than earlier in the summer, although some Black Terns have appeared.
Black Tern 12 all in groups (2-5) coming in off the water. Caspian Tern 2 Royal Tern 10 Sandwich Tern 12 Forster's Tern 4
Laughing Gull 15 Great Black backed Gull 1 Herring Gull 2 Shorebirds are now mostly in non-breeding plumages American Oystercatcher 1 Black-necked Stilt 5 in pond at corner before parking lot. Piping Plover 3-5 one banded - combo sent to BBL Wilson's Plover 18 Much lower than earlier in summer Semipalmated Plover 15 Killdeer 1 Willet 7 one appeared to be western ssp. Is this early? Greater Yellowlegs 1 Spotted Sandpiper 2 Ruddy Turnstone 6 Only 1 in full alternate plumage Sanderling 25 very scattered - not flocked up yet. Semipalmated Sandpiper 8 Least Sandpiper 2 Short-billed Dowitcher 80+ Flocks of 5-15 flying in off the channel.
Other birds were scarce - Osprey 2 (plus 1 with rotating propulsion) grackles a few on beach Barn Swallow quite a few - 2-3 at a time continuously - seemed to be moving down the coast. Purple Martin 0 they seem to have left - red nearby and were present all visits through the summer. Great Egrets 30+ at great distance Snowy Egret 2 Great Blue Heron 2