Monday, September 3, 2007

Cape May Point State Park

Had a tough time deciding where to bird this morning. Southwest winds, not the best for migration but something good could be around! I did hear birds going over the house last night.

So, we basically flipped a coin and went to the State Park; it's the best bet since you get sea, shore and land birding all in one, 1.5 mile walk. Sure there may have been a good bird or two to be found at Higbee or the Villas WMA but we figured it was best to hedge our bets. And, I am glad we did. We had some pretty good birding this morning. Who says that Cape May is not the place to be on southerly winds (in the fall at least)?

Found a Bird's sandpiper right off the bat, right out in front of the hawkwatch platform. After all that searching I did, today I look up and right there in plain view on the grassy spot in the SE corner of Bunker Pond. It was hard to convince myself at first but it was definitely baird's.

Then we had (on the little sand bar in Bunker pond) White-rumped, Stilt, Least, Western, Semi-palmated all in view at once. A great study opportunity, that is until a Peregrine came darting through looking for a 8:00 a.m. snack. Peregrines hunting over the hawkwatch will become more and more routine as the season progresses. If you desire a good look at a Peregrine falcon make a trek to the hawkwatch platform some time between the last week of September and the second week of October. Peak time being around the 5th of October. In fact it was on 10/5/02 that I had a record count of Peregrines- 298. I'm still kicking myself for not staying until I couldn't see anymore just to try and break 300. Look for a cold front in the first week of October, peregrines like to move just a head of the front.

Once we left the beach I figured that we'd have little luck in the woods, but, we hit a little pocket of birds and actually came up with a Palm warbler. A first of the fall for me. Other than that, the land biridng was a little slow.

All in all it was a good morning of birding. We're going to try and hit the CMMBR this evening to scout for Laura's "Twilight Watch..." walk which will be on Wednesday evenings at TNC's CMMBR. The walk starts at 6:00 in September. I'll be looking for the Baird's sandpiper that I just read (on the sightings sheets here in the Northwood Center) was seen there this morning on the CMBO walk. I wonder if it was a second Baird's sandpiper or the one we had at the state park that flew over to the CMMBR after the peregrine blew through? I guess we'll see.

As always, the list of species is below.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 9/3/07
Notes: Hundreds of Gulls and Terns feeding over the rips!
Number of species: 56

Mute Swan 20
Mallard 18
Blue-winged Teal 1
Northern Shoveler 3
Green-winged Teal 25
Double-crested Cormorant 8
Great Blue Heron 1
Osprey 2
Merlin 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
Semipalmated Plover 12
Lesser Yellowlegs 9
Solitary Sandpiper 3
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Sanderling 46
Semipalmated Sandpiper 20
Western Sandpiper 6
Least Sandpiper 40
White-rumped Sandpiper 4
Baird's Sandpiper 1
Stilt Sandpiper 4
Short-billed Dowitcher 12
Laughing Gull 150
Herring Gull 35
Great Black-backed Gull 80
Royal Tern 2
Common Tern 35
Forster's Tern 20
Least Tern 6
Rock Pigeon 35
Mourning Dove 8
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 3
Eastern Kingbird 3
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Tree Swallow 15
Barn Swallow 10
Carolina Chickadee 5
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 8
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
American Robin 8
Gray Catbird 1
Cedar Waxwing 8
Yellow Warbler 3
Magnolia Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 2
American Redstart 2
Northern Waterthrush 2
Common Yellowthroat 3
Northern Cardinal 2
Blue Grosbeak 1
Bobolink 40
Baltimore Oriole 1
American Goldfinch 2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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