Monday, January 21, 2008

Good Birding in a Cold Wind: Cape May Point, Turkey Point, & Villas for Redhead, Red-headed, Raptors, and More

Having dipped on the Redhead in Cape May Point the other day, I took a very windy, very cold stroll at Villas WMA Sunday, and found two Redheads with the duck flock on the big pond (southwest corner of the property near the old clubhouse, if you haven't been) as well as a single Red-headed Woodpecker, now sporting a partially red head. The woodpecker was excavating a cavity, presumably for roosting.

CMBO's regular Cape May Point walk on Saturday, plus a walk we conducted for a visiting group, revealed what could be found at the State Park and around the point. My sense is that you are just as well off looking offshore at St. Peter's, checking Lily Lake & the area around the Northwood Center, and strolling about the streets of Cape May Point as you are walking the state park, at least for now - there has been substantial management activity at the park and Bunker and Lighthouse ponds at least have been somewhat devoid of life. Karl Lukens reports on what was collectively found by him, Chuck and MJ Slugg, Judy Lukens, Marc and Lynne Breslow, Will Kerling and the participants: "Best ducks were on Lily Lake where the Canvasback is still hanging out. No Redhead this morning. We did run into a perched immature Red-shoulder, and flying Sharpies, a Cooper's Hawk, a Peregrine, and Red-tail. Off shore, one of each Loons, several Gannets, and the usual gulls. Good looks at a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Red-bellied Woodpecker were enjoyed by many."

Location: Cape May Point - CMBO Walk
Observation date: 1/19/08
Number of species: 52
Canada Goose 5
Mute Swan 3
Gadwall 3
American Wigeon 5
Mallard 10
Canvasback 1
Ring-necked Duck 4
Common Eider 1
Surf Scoter 2
Black Scoter 8
Long-tailed Duck 2
Hooded Merganser 2
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Ruddy Duck 12
Red-throated Loon 1
Common Loon 1
Northern Gannet 4
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Turkey Vulture 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
American Coot 20
Ring-billed Gull 3
Herring Gull 10
Great Black-backed Gull 1
Rock Pigeon 5
Mourning Dove 10
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 5
Carolina Chickadee 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 5
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 20
Cedar Waxwing 10
Yellow-rumped Warbler 20
Fox Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 10
Dark-eyed Junco 3
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird 20
House Finch 10
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 15

Speaking of wind, CMBO's Sunday field trips to Turkey Point and Jake's Landing managed to turn up a surprising array. It's often been said that birding is better in the rain than in the wind, and rightly so. But despite the conditions, check out what was found (Turkey Point list courtesy of Chuck and MJ Slugg, see Tom Reed's post below for the Jake's Landing report):

Location: Turkey Point
Observation date: 1/20/08
Notes: Very cold, temp. 25 degrees F.; winds 20 mph with gusts of 30 mph.
Number of species: 40
Snow Goose 2000
Canada Goose 4
Mute Swan 20
American Black Duck 40
Mallard 2
Bufflehead 40
Hooded Merganser 6
Wild Turkey 50
Great Blue Heron 3
Turkey Vulture 10
Bald Eagle x
Northern Harrier 33
Red-tailed Hawk 3
Greater Yellowlegs 2
Dunlin 40
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Mourning Dove 10
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 5
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 9
Carolina Chickadee 5
Carolina Wren 3
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 45
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling X
Cedar Waxwing 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler 25
Eastern Towhee 3
Chipping Sparrow 1
Fox Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 20
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Eastern Meadowlark 17
Common Grackle 40
American Goldfinch 2

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