Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hudsonian godwit, Falcon Flight, Wheatear story, and Farewell to some British Friends

I learned second hand from Bob Fogg that a Hudsonian Godwit joined the shorebird flock near the Wetlands Institute mentioned below - apparently not long after my group left the site, as the tide continued to rise (rats!)

This morning's easterly gale didn't prevent an exciting falcon show at Cape May Point State Park, featuring multiple Merlins, Peregrines, and kestrels. The former two played with the wind, the latter struggled, a nice lesson for CMBO's Hawk Migration workshop, which I'm leading today and tomorrow with Mark Garland.

Interesting story: we were recently sent a note with a picture from a birder and CMBO member named Kate McCain, asking for help on a bird she found at the state park last Wednesday. It was the Northern Wheatear, 2 days before it's presence became widely known!

Finally, Lizzie Condon, one of our fall seasonal staff, shares the following story of some visiting birders from the U.K. Cape May is a popular place for European birders, since so many species can be seen so quickly in so small a space.

"A blog from the interns: So Long Twitchers!

"Cape May is a world-renowned hot spot for birding, attracting visitors from many exotic locales. Since the seasonal interns have started working we have had a few regular out of towners, and this blog is for them.

"I am the Morning Flight intern, which means I get to Higbee Beach and stand at the platform under the dike starting at 6:20AM 5 days a week to watch the songbird migration. For the past 2 weeks I have had early morning company every day (sometimes even beating me there!). Four British birders (perhaps twitchers?) have been working on their life lists and enjoying the spoils of Cape May birding. Their names are David and David, Jon and John.

Caption: From top right, clockwise: Dan Berard (swing counter), Seth Cutright (hawk counter), Jon Kauffman and Lizzie Condon (interpretive naturalist interns), David Angell, David Fieldsend, John Glendinning and Jon Buxton (all British birders visiting Cape May). Photo taken from the Hawk Watch platform at Cape May Point State Park.

And enjoy they have! The Davids spent two weeks here and have accumulated 43 life birds and a total trip list of 179, while the Johns were here for one week and got 1 life bird (American pipit) and a total trip list of 152.

As seasonal interns we are new to the area, and we appreciate the community of birders that has embraced us here in Cape May. Our goal is to help others feels included as well, and I feel that we accomplished this goal with our twitcher guests. You are well missed guys! We look forward to more Brits and other international birders as the season progresses. Thanks to our visitors so far for being so kind and enthusiastic!"

Thanks Lizzie, and thanks to all the seasonals for doing such a great job this year!

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