Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cape May like you've probably never seen it.

Well as many of you know, at least if you live between Chicago and Cape May, there was a good swath of snow dropped over the course of the last two days. One thing that does not happen much in Cape May; snow. Around here, at least at my house about 10 miles north of Cape May, 3-4 inches of snow fell. This amount of snow (any really) offers a myriad of opportunities from just sitting back and enjoying the pretty white stuff, to getting out and seeing what creatures are about the woods which we may rarely see while birding.

I remember my time in Wisconsin and Minnesota, lots of snow up in that region, which makes for great conditions for animal tracking. The best was my courses where we learned about and actively went wolf tracking. No, I never was lucky enough to see a wolf while I was up there but you really can tell a lot about an animal from their tracks. But I digress, this post is not about tracking.

I didn't really get out to do any birding this morning, though I did visit most all the popular birding spots in Cape May. What I did was to get out and take a few photos so that you can see what Cape May is like under cover of snow. Something very few "Cape May" birders (except those of us who live here) get to see. I only wish that I would have had more time to explore more and take more photos. Here are some nice shots which should be fun to look at; especially if you've been to Cape May to bird when there is no snow.


(click on the photos to enlarge)
First stop is Higbee's Beach WMA. I'd bet there a number of good birds out there waiting to be found. But, very few people to find them. A drastic change from the throngs of birdwatchers that can be seen on a good migration day in September or October.

Can you guess where this photo was taken? Give up.... this the short path that connects the main trail at Higbee to the first tower field. The first tower field is the first field on the left as you walk in to Higbee.

A view of the first tower field. Ahhh, solitude!

And, the hedgerow along the west side of the first tower field. I really liked the snow in this area, can you tell.

The Zeiss Morning Flight Platform. Like Higbee, this spot is pretty much devoid of people at this time of the year. Keep checking into View from the Cape, hopefully (given that I can get my butt out of bed on the cold days) Don and I will show that there is great birding to be had here in Cape May in every month of the year.

Now we move on to Hidden Valley. This is the hedgerow on the west side that parallels New England Road. On the right side as you pull into the parking lot.

A wider view of the Hidden Vally loop area. Note all that beautiful Little blue-stem grass hiding all of those sparrows and maybe an Orange-crowned warbler or two. At least those that are not hiding in the hedgerow.

Working our way to the Point.....The Beanery (Rea's Farm)

The Leica Hawkwatch Platform is deadsville. Not even Steve mans his post any longer! Don't let the lack of observers fool you. Even in December a good NW wind will push migrant hawks to the Point. Granted they are few and far between at this date but you still have the chance for a Golden eagle, Northern goshawk or even, if your really lucky, a Rough-legged hawk.

As you can see I was the first one up on the platform this morning. This is a view I had never had of this spot. Very nice under three inches of snow. Look close and you can see me in the lower left corner.

A view of Bunker Pond looking to the NW.

And finally we arrive at the Northwood Center.

No comments: