This weekend I had to make a short trip up to Philadelphia. I left there early Sunday morning and had time to stop by Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. For late July, there was a lot going on there; and I don't just mean the crowds looking for ponies. This coming week is the annual pony swim and I guess the crowds are starting early.
But anyways, the birding was good too. Since it wasn't planned as a birding trip, I didn't have the spotting scope with me; but, I did have my camera and binoculars. So many of the birds were just too far out of reach. I concentrated on getting pictures of those kind enough to be close to the edges.
In the second pool on the north side of Beach Access Road I saw a dark ibis in the distance. Glossy ibis wouldn't be unusual this time of year. So that's what I thought. But I took a picture anyways just to document the sighting. Well, when I got home I saw an email on the va-bird listserv that a white-faced ibis was being seen at Chincoteague and it was the only dark ibis that that group had seen today. So I pull up my picture and what do you know? A white-faced ibis.
I had also stopped at the Tom's Cove visitor center. I was going to go in and see if anything unusual had been reported and look around but I scanned the birds on the exposed flats first. And I'm glad I did. In among a lot of common terns and black skimmer was this smaller, all dark bird. A little study and a photo confirmed it was a black tern.
There will be more to come from this trip as I got some good photographs of egrets and the black skimmers skimming. But I wanted to get these out while they were hot.