The Hawk Watch ended today, with about 31,500 raptors tallied by primary counter Jessie Barry and swing counter Chris Brown. A "good" season in Cape May historically has been about 40,000; however, how can you call this year bad with Swainson's Hawk, Rough-legged Hawks (including a light morph juvenile today), Golden Eagles, and goshawks included in the mix? And with a goshawk catching a Cooper's Hawk? And with a Lesser Nighthawk that made the platform list? And with such great counters and interpreters?
A bunch of folks gathered on the platform to wish Jessie well today. Steve Bauer brought a cake, and the Sluggs and Breslows provided coffee and hot chocolate. Cave Swallows passed regularly, most not even mentioned, and I joked that now we needed to check the cAve's for Cliff's, not the other way around. A Baltimore Oriole fed in the cedars over the pavilion. During the festivities, Arthur, one of the banders, brought over a recently caught Northern Goshawk. I missed that show, I had left and was just pulling up again as it was released. As a consolation, from the parking lot I heard and saw an Evening Grosbeak flying over, north of the platform.
The Bullock's Oriole was seen again today by Lloyd Shaw (his 317th NJ year bird, I believe) and others.