Great Bay Blvd. 10-31-08

Great Bay Blvd. WMA (Tuckerton, NJ) Fri, Oct. 31, 2008; from 2:00pm
until about 5:30pm. Warm, 60's, WSW winds ~ 10mph. Low tide for
Shooting Thorofare was 4:37pm, low tide for Little Sheepshead Creek
was 4:59pm. Final “Fall” Shorebird survey.

Today was a plentiful shorebird day by GBB standards, especially
along Shooting Thorofare. I was on the beach @ Shooting Thorofare
30min before low tide & 30min after low tide & the sod banks were well
exposed, much more than I have seen them in the past. There were also
a lot of mussels covering a good portion of the sod & mud banks. The 1
odd thing was 4 Sanderlings mixed in w/ a group of 1 AO, many Dun's &
5 Ruddy T's. Not that Sanderlings mixed in with these species is odd,
the actual odd part was that since surveying GBB (since Fall 2004) I
have never seen Sanderlings on the GBB side (opposed to Holgate &
Little Beach where I can spot them running w/ the waves). But here
were 4 Sanderlings feeding & cracking open small mussels.

Shorebird Species seen @ Shooting Thorofare sod/mud banks:
AO (1), BBP (5), Dunlin (55), Semipalm Plover (1), Ruddy T's (6) &
Sanderling (4).

The only other shorebird seen today in various spots along GBB was Gr.
Yellowlegs. A few spots w/ 1-2 feeding in the water or along mudbanks
of waterways. 1 spot that had a group of 33 GYL & another near by
group of 35 (mixed in w/ these groups of GYL were 30 Dunlin & 5

1 other shorebird note: My 2nd survey stop @ GBB is along a sandbar-
marsh area along Big Thorofare. There's a sandy area the becomes
uncovered when the tide is low. Well I see a group of Dunlin roosting
& I notice they're are in an area where water is still flowing across
the sand & yet they are raised up a bit. As I get a closer look w/
binoc's I see they are roosting on a crumpled piece of blue indoor-
outdoor carpet that was either dumped there or washed up. I'm sure it
was a nice warm spot as they were in the sun. As much as it was
annoying to see more trash in this area it was kind of amusing to see
the Dunlin utilizing it for their needs. I'll post a slideshow later!