A White-eyed Vireo was a remarkable find in the state park on December 22nd and may well still be in the area as it has been elusive but seen several times since then, to January 1st at least. A Northern Shrike was in Del Haven on Christmas Day, last being reported on 28th and a relic of the Evening Grosbeak invasion involved a single bird briefly in Bottle Creek Drive, Cold Spring on December 31st. The Dovekie invasion fizzled out a little - though there may yet be more if the weather turns rough again - but singles were noted at the ferry terminal on 27th and at Stone Harbor Point on 31st. It may well be worth looking out for Iceland Gulls, as recent sightings have included singles at Shellbay Landing on December 27th, south past Del Haven on January 1st and on the beach at Cape May Point on 2nd. The latter bird was watched flying away up the bayshore, carrying on north past Sunset Beach at least. All sightings involved first-winter birds. Finally, a Yellow-headed Blackbird was seen briefly in a mobile grackle/blackbird flock along Bayshore Road near The Beanery on December 30th and should certainly be looked for. Oh and both Red and White-winged Crossbills and Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches seem to be permanent fixtures around the point, for now at least, so keep an ear and an eye out for these.
First-winter Iceland Gull at Cape May Point today. Gentle-faced, kindly-looking gulls that are always a really special find. Note the mostly dark bill with just a smudgy splash of pink at the base and the subtle markings on the primary feathers [photo by Mike Crewe].
What a place! One thing we were short of at Cape May for a long time was resident eagles. But now we have them and I forfeited the chance of several nice 'year ticks' before work this morning when I chose to get up close and personal with our local 'south of the canal' pair. These two were sitting in a small oak which was barely big enough to support their weight at the state park and were just asking to be photographed. Though the relative body angles make judging size difference tricky, the bigger head and bill of the bird on the right marks it out as the female [photo by Mike Crewe].