Songo Blue Skies

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Courtship Dance of Least Terns and Marsh Makers at Rocky Point

All right, it took me more than overnight to put these up. After my morning at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, I went to Breezy Point with my friend Andrea. First we walked along the ocean side of Breezy. There were several black bellied plovers, seagulls and willets. But the best were seeing the 3 American Oystercatcher chicks. Too cute!

After lunch we walked along the Bay from the  Bay House toward the bridge. It was a beautiful day. As we were walking along we came to the Marsh at Rocky Point. This was a favorite of ours last year. We would check on the willets that were nesting there. We didn't see any willets but through our binoculars we saw a young man who looked to be cleaning up the marsh: Our hint he was wearing waders, long rubber gloves and hauling wood junk. Now I had heard of a couple of days this spring when some groups helped out to clean up the marsh but I didn't have any idea that someone was volunteering to do this on an ongoing basis. Anyway the young man started toward us so we waited and greeted him. Shervin started the project of cleaning up the marsh in November of 2010. He has a blog that follows the progress of the marsh cleanup. This is very exciting and Andrea and I will be helping out at the next volunteer day you can bet. You can view Shervin's blog at

After meeting Shervan we continued our walk. We saw several Black-bellied Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Egret, Green Heron, Least Terns, Brant Geese, Merganzer, Oystercatcher and Spotted Sandpipers.

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitus macularia)


Semipalmated plover

Herring Gulls (acting like the Doublemint Twins)

America Oystercatcher (Haematopus pallistus)


The best part of the walk was the courtship of least terns that we observed. I wish I had video for the first time, but I think you'll get the idea.