Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spectacular Weather

Well, if you were looking for raptors today. . . not so much. Our Raptor Workshop did find kestrel - 1 - and Merlin - 1 - although Michael O'Brien did tell me this evening that those species plus Peregrines were hunting Tree Swallows at the dune crossovers in Cape May Point this morning. It rained very hard in Cape May last night, and this morning the wind howled from the NE at 15-25 mph with higher gusts. We birded the Cape May Meadows for the workshop, finding a few sparrows, including White-crowned, despite the wind, as well as many dabbling ducks - pintails, wigeon, and over 100 Green-winged Teal included, and then punted and headed for the Avalon Sea Watch, where Ken Behrens, counter there, was pumped on the scoter flight, which might well have wound up being the best this year so far. "Dark-winged" scoters passed the sea watch at high speeds, accelerated by the 20+mph tailwind. Gannets were steady far offshore, and a flock of Lesser Scaup containing an outlier Ring-necked Duck passed heading the "wrong" way - north.

Jake's Landing this evening produced nothing unusual, just the omnipresent harriers and redtails there, plus a cooperative meadowlark. The wind, the cloud cover, and the wildness reminded me just how special a place Jake's is, any season, any weather.

Michael said he was hopeful for tomorrow, conditions seem somewhat ripe for a sparrow fallout. The morning will tell. This is the big weekend here at CMBO - THE Bird Show and Autumn Weekend - and we will keep you posted on the bird highlights, and human highlights too.

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