Friday, September 28, 2007

Front finally oozes through, good raptor flight today, and go birding tomorrow!

I called Glen Davis, who was the interpretive naturalist on morning flight duty this morning, at 7:00 a.m. to find out what landbirds were flying. Answer: none. The winds were still southwest at Cape May at dawn, and passerines of any sort were pretty much absent. Sam Galick, however, reported several Dickcissels at the meadows a.ka. the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, which are open again, though TNC reported that their gate there is having some issues, hopefully to be fixed soon.

Based on Glen and Sam's reports, I started today's workshop at the Beanery, where a female Blue Grosbeak posed for scope views, a few Bobolinks presented themselves, but the main show was raptors - in onesies and twosies, kestrels, sharpies, ospreys, Cooper's Hawks, and even Peregrines made appearances.

The front cleared by about noon, and with the ensuing northwest winds the hawk flight at the state park really picked up. The count totals will be posted under View from the Field soon. Kestrels and Sharp-shinneds were in constant view all afternoon, and our workshop group saw at least 10 Peregrines, many Cooper's Hawks, many Merlins, and a few Bald Eagles and Broad-winged Hawks. About 40 Lesser Yellowlegs continue on Bunker Pond, with a few Greater's, about 6 Pectoral Sandpipers, and a very few peep. It will be interesting to see if these shorebirds vacate by tomorrow, I'm guessing they will given the favorable migration conditions. Several Caspian Terns have been flying about Cape May Point, and dabbling duck numbers continue to grow. Two Pied-billed Grebes and two immature Little Blue Herons were on Lily Lake this morning as well.

To quote David LaPuma's Birding Forecast, "Tonight we should expect a massive flight across the Eastern Flyway, with a heavy influx of birds into the East Coast."

Go birding tomorrow!

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