Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pipit, Pintail, Turkeys, More

An early American Pipit was detected at Cape May Point State Park on Thursday, by CMBO's seasonal crew there, and apparently seen again Friday. This hovers around the record early date for this species.

Wild Turkeys are not big news in the east generally, but a family group found south of the canal is a headliner. I believe these were initially discovered Saturday at the north end of Bayshore Road, but I'm not entirely sure of the discoverer or exact location. We found turkey droppings last May at Higbee Beach, so it seems likely that turkey nested south of the canal for the first time in modern times (probably since there was a canal!)

A Northern Pintail hen flew past the hawk watch on Saturday, a first for the fall for all present.

The CMBO Walk at "The Beanery" (Rea Farm) Saturday morning was a big day for Red-eyed Vireos and Flickers. Also of note, 5 Black-crowned Night-Herons at the willow pond, Blue Grosbeak, 3 Indigo Buntings, and a Skulky Yellow-breasted Chat. All from CMBO volunteers Karl & Judy Lukens, Tom Parsons, Kathy & Roger Horn.

Chuck and MJ Slugg reported 58 bird species and 17 participants in CMBO's first Saturday afternoon Hawks, Trails and Beach walk. Sometimes I feel like the state park is sneaky-good when it comes to birding - we haven't had piles of migrants the past couple days, and yet before you know it you've seen close to 60 species.

Speaking of sneaky good, so can be Higbee on a non-flight day, like Friday. CMBO's walk detected Yellow-bellied and "Traill's" Flycatchers, many Black-throated Blue Warblers (which are very dialed-in on porcelain berries), Parulas, Black and White, orioles, Red-eyed Vireos, etc. On a cloudy, non-flight day I like to walk the Higbee fields in "reverse, i.e. start on the west side. With clouds, the east side of the first three fields, the almost automatic starting route for many birders, has no sunlit edges to concentrate birds anyway.

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