Thursday, August 9, 2007

Higbee Beach WMA

First off, I forgot to mention one of the cooler birds we saw while up at Brigantine NWR the other day. While on the last leg of the loop we spotted a sub-adult male Northern Harrier (my guess given the amount of brown still notable on his back, but I'm not a harrier expert.) Between this sighting and the Sedge wren, my day was made.

But I digress...... Now for today's sightings.

With the N to NW winds overnight one might have expected a number of early migrants to be hopping around the woods. Well, this seems to have not been the case this morning. While migrants were around, they were not too plentiful. Mind you, we did only have a short time to bird this morning as Laura had to work on a few last elements in the updating of Bird Droppings and Birding Fieldcraft.

We had a few Yellow warblers in the trees and calling as they flew over head. Also, a few American redstarts were in evidence as well. We did notice that Blue-grey gnatcatcher are being more vocal lately and observed all by hearing them today.

Aside from what we encountered, I did hear that there was a Blue-winged warbler near the parking lot at Higbee the last couple of days, as well as, an Ovenbird in the same area today. In the "no it's not that late in fall yet" category; I heard that the first Yellow-rumped warbler of the fall has been tallied. Well, it's all down hill from here you might be telling yourself. Not quite. Actually, as I understand a few early-ish Yellow-rumped warbler is not all that uncommon in these parts, The Birds of Cape May lists the early date as 8/1. While it is a bit of pain to have to sort through the hordes of yellow-rumps later in the fall there are plenty of redstarts to sift through in the earlier fall. In fact I find it to be fun some days, like a scavenger hunt. But then again isn't most all birding like a scavenger hunt?

None the less you take what you get. The important part is getting out to enjoy, right? If you'd like to get out with someone, try one of the weekend walks that CMBO offers. Friday 8/10 is Sunset Birding at the Meadows; starts at 6:30 p.m. Or, on Saturday 8/11, Birding Cape May Point; meets at the hawkwatch platform at 7:30 a.m. There are no scheduled walks on Sunday until next week when on 8/19 the first Villas WMA Walk starts. For more info check out Programs/Daily Walks.

Oh, almost forgot to mention the butterflies seen today: (in no particular order) Monarch, E. Tiger swallowtail, Spicebush swallowtail, Cabbage white, Clouded sulphur, a nice find was a Cloudless sulphur, Summer azure or E. tailed-blue (some sort of little blueish butterfly, I didn't take the time to solidify the i.d.), Red admiral, Pearl crescent, Common buckeye, Common wood-nymph, Silver-spotted skipper and Least skipper. 13 species, not too bad for a short jaunt.

The short list of birds observed is below;

Location: Higbee Beach
Observation date: 8/9/07
Number of species: 26
Green Heron 2
Osprey 2
Laughing Gull 15
Mourning Dove 2
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Eastern Kingbird 1
White-eyed Vireo 6
American Crow 3
Purple Martin 12
Barn Swallow 4
Carolina Chickadee 3
Carolina Wren 8
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 6
American Robin 2
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Yellow Warbler 8
American Redstart 2
Eastern Towhee 1
Song Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 15
Indigo Bunting 4
Bobolink 8
Red-winged Blackbird 4
American Goldfinch 2
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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