Sunday, September 9, 2007

South Winds........

Do not make for good migration in Cape May. But you already knew that, right?!

So, what is the birding like in Cape May when there have been south winds for days on end? Honestly, it's a bit on the slow side. But, this is to be expected. Even when it's slow there are always things to get out and see though. Like the 22 Buff-breasted sandpipers that Sam Galick saw yesterday at the Cape May Point State Park. And I though 9 was a good count for Cape May. To illustrate my point, looking at the Jersey Birds listserv, someone reported 35 at Johnson's Sod Farm.

All in all, for a quick walk around Hidden Valley the birding wasn't all that bad. Thirty-six species doesn't boggle ones mind but you end up getting to observe birds more which is always nice. That is, when they stay out from the leaves long enough to do more than identify them. In fact I had a good time watching a Tufted titmouse looking for a place to stick a piece of food in some tree bark. Or at least that was what it seemed this bird was doing. I've seen both this species and chickadees doing this at my feeder. Many time it's to lodge a sunflower seed in the bark so that they can break open the shell easier.

Another interesting moment was at the pond on the back side of the second field. How the Wood ducks know that you're approaching when there is a thick wall of vegetation between you and them, I'll never know. A female was in the pond today and she heard me or somethings, even though I was trying to be quite. So, she headed to the back of the pond. I edged to an area where I could just peak around some of the leaves and take a look. It was if she could see me, as she extended her neck and was on high alert. Soon enough she decided that I was still too close for comfort, I guess, and took off. NOTE: if you encounter Wood ducks at this pond and they take flight, look to the west down the trail (toward Higbee Beach) as these birds almost always fly to the SW into the next little set of wet woods at Hidden Valley. Actually back in those woods there is a nice pond which usually has a few of this species hanging out as well.

What's on tap weather wise you ask. Well, there is a tropical storm off the coast of the Carolina's that is supposed to be up off the cost of south Jersey on Monday evening. I don't suspect that it will bring too many seabird our way though. Maybe the east winds as it approaches might blow a few birds toward land. Typically we want a storm like this to pass to our west to get the pelagic goodies.

After that, the temp is supposed to drop to the high 70's for the high on Wednesday. Currently on The Weather Channel website they are calling for light rain and N winds over night Tuesday-Wednesday. Winds to stay northerly on Wednesday and switch to ENE over night Wednesday-Thursday. So I guess we'll see what kind of migration this will bring. Remember, birding can be fantastic in the rain if conditions are right. Keep checking in to the Birding Forecast for more updates on weather and migration.

As usual, the morning's list is below.

Location: Cape May - Hidden Valley Ranch
Observation date: 9/9/07
Number of species: 36

Wood Duck 1
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Green Heron 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
Great Black-backed Gull 1
Mourning Dove 6
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 5
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 3
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
White-eyed Vireo 4
Red-eyed Vireo 2
Blue Jay 11
American Crow 8
Carolina Chickadee 3
Tufted Titmouse 4
Carolina Wren 13
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Veery 2
American Robin 8
Gray Catbird 5
Cedar Waxwing X
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
American Redstart 1
Northern Waterthrush 2
Common Yellowthroat 2
Eastern Towhee 1
Field Sparrow 4
Northern Cardinal 15
Bobolink X
Common Grackle 8
Baltimore Oriole 12

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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