Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wed. 2/20: Plenty of snow, but few birds on either side of the Cape

The snow is currently coming down at a pretty good clip here, with about half an inch covering non-paved surfaces. One to two inches of the white stuff could fall on the Cape by midnight. It was only flurries when I got back from class this afternoon, so I decided to give it a try at a few spots, but the birds apparently had more sense than I did...not the first time that's ever happened.

Stone Harbor Point produced about 30 Long-tailed Ducks, 7 Surf Scoters, and one each of both loons off the southern-most groin. At least 500 scoters were sitting about a mile offshore. A few Northern Gannets flew by, and there were 24 Sanderlings on the beach. No sign of the female Common Eider that has been here.

Nummy Island was almost completely birdless, minus a handful of Herring Gulls, a couple pairs of Am. Black Ducks, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Brant under the free bridge, and a Common Loon under the toll bridge.

Cook's Beach (located between Kimble's Beach and Reed's Beach along the bayshore) was likewise quiet. 2 Song Sparrows and 2 Northern Cardinals were the only birds that made themselves known along the road, and about 45 Ruddy Ducks were huddled together on the bay.

The ibis pond along Reed's Beach Road hosted a total of four birds, consisting of two pairs of Northern Shovelers.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a recap of every single bird I saw this evening. As Karl Lukens would say, "Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you." However, I'll gladly trade a bird-filled trip for a rare snowy evening in Cape May.

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