Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another Great Rainy Day, a new Seawatch Record, and boy it's looking good

The turbulent weather today broke up enough that walks associated with the Autumn Weekend/Bird Show turned up some great stuff. A King Eider and several Common Eiders were reported from various seawatch points, the King being off convention hall. The scoter flight continues, with all three species represented (see below for the report from Avalon yesterday). White-rumped Sandpiper was present in Bunker Pond, with up to 10 Pectoral Sandpipers. An elusive Eurasian Collared Dove was briefly sighted in Cape May Point, from the hawk watch, but not relocated. Apparently this bird has been around for a bit.

The usual raptors, especially those that tolerate nasty weather, were around. Our Meadows walks this morning observed Peregrines hunting and roosting on the beach, as well as several Merlins, harriers and Cooper's Hawks.

It's pretty sparrowy around Cape May right now. The path running east from the Meadows parking lot today hosted 1 Clay-colored, several White-crowneds, at least one Vesper, as well as Blue Grosbeak.

Friday's seawatch total is preliminary at 158,000+ birds, 99% scoters, shattering the old single day count record of 101,000! This morning (Saturday) I noticed three green blobs on the weather radar, moving south east of the rainy system that was moving north - scoters migrating offshore and east of the rain?

It seems pretty clear tomorrow will be a special day of birding anywhere, but certainly in Cape May. The cold front has passed - I listened briefly and negatively for flight calls along the bay just now, but suspect birds are moving, perhaps en masse. The next three days could be the best of the the fall migration season.

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