The nesting season is winding down, but we still have lots of birds using the posting as they prepare for migration.
Least Terns (LETE)
It appears that the Least Terns have begun migration, with only a very few remaining in the area mainly on Masonboro Island. The Great Black Backed Gulls were feasting on some of our sweet chicks, so the parents may have determined that an early start on migration would be a good idea. We wish them a safe flight, and look forward to seeing them again next year!
Black Skimmers (BLSK)
We still have lots of Black Skimmers at the colony with several new chicks! We counted 51 fledglings and 139 adult Black Skimmers on Saturday, 8/6. Over 120 were counted on Monday morning, 8/8. Our high count for Black Skimmer fledglings was was 104! We still have a large number that will continue to roost in the inlet area and the SWB posting. The Black Skimmers seem to be staging to get ready for migration and will join other groups that migrate to our area in the next couple of months.
Our Bird Stewards noticed a very young BLSK chick just this past week. The posting will remain in place to protect these little ones. Generally, the practice is to leave the posting up for 2 weeks past the last chick fledging.Photo by Jack White
Photo by Don Ellson
American Oystercatchers (AMOY)
Several Oystercatchers have been seen roosting in the posting this past week.
Common Terns (COTE)
The Common Terns appear to have begun migration but we still have a very attentive pair guarding their precious chick(s). Common Terns can still be seen perched atop the postings as they keep watch over not only their own chicks but also doing a great job protecting the Black Skimmer chicks. We call it "inter species babysitting"!
Birds are moving all the time now and if you happen to arrive when they decided to fly across the inlet and roost on the other side it seems like the season is over but it is not.