A quick stop at Jake's Landing last night, from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. (also known as the half hour before dark) yielded a marvelous sunset, 8 harriers, two Marsh Wrens, 5 Clapper Rails, 3 Pied-billed Grebes, and. . .no Short-eared Owls. I have no explanation for the lack of SEO's, which I last heard of from Jake's on Sunday night, a single at 4:50 as reported by a birder I met at Jake's last night.
The evening was a good study in not knowing everything. A very distant something coursed over the marsh, and I thought it could be a short-eared, but then it flew into the woods. Could it have been a Long-eared Owl? Yes, but I'll never know. I'll also never know if the distant flying flock of sillouetted diving ducks were scaup, like I think they were, or something else. . . maybe it was 50 Redheads instead - not. Then there were the seep notes in the grass - sharp-tailed sparrows, yes, but which ones? Or could some of them just be soft, thin sounding Song Sparrows? The Marsh Wren "tcheks" sounded a little too sharp, like Sedge Wren, to me for some reason (probably because I'm eternally hopeful), luckily I tracked those down for a visual. We'll never run out of learning in birding.
George Myers and Gail Dwyer spent the day birding northern Cape May and Cumberland Counties. George reports:
"Hi Don. A brief rundown of today's birding with Gail:
Woodcock Lane: 8:15-10AM: 53 degrees
20+ Purple Finch
45 Cedar Waxwings
2 Hairy Woodpeckers
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
3 Eastern Meadowlarks
Lots of American Robins and the Cedar Waxwings were enjoying Cedar Berries.Spring Peepers were calling. At about 9:30, the wind abruptly switched to NW and the temp dropped a few degrees...really noticeable.
Jake's Landing:6 Northern Harriers
12 Black-bellied Plovers
3 Greater Yellowlegs
1 Belted Kingfisher
2 imm. Little Blue Herons
1 Bald Eagle (adult)
30 Lesser Scaup
American Kestrel along Robbinstown Road near Bivalve.
Several Red-tailed Hawks were found along the roadsides.
Bivalve was quiet with virtually no waterfowl.....but lots of hunters."