Thursday, October 2, 2008

(Another) Lark Sparrow, Red-headed Woodpecker, Lincoln's Sparrow, American Golden-plover, and the first juncos of fall

[Above, Karl Lukens' photograph of today's Lark Sparrow shows that it is a different bird than the one photographed Monday, picture below. The above bird is a typically faintly marked (by Lark Sparrow standards) immature. After initally being sighted on CMBO's 10:00 Bird Walk for All People, between the first and second plover ponds, it flew towards the hawk watch, stopping near the big brushpile where it fed cooperatively under bayberry bushes and construction debris between the brushpile and Bunker Pond.]

Besides the Lark Sparrow at Cape May Point State Park, which was in the same place as the one from Monday but clearly a different bird, a number of interesting species appeared in Cape May following yesterday's cold front.

Two American Golden-plovers flew past Morning Flight at Higbee Beach today. The "tower field" at Higbee held some interesting birds, including my first Lincoln's Sparrow of fall, a Red-headed Woodpecker called out loudly by Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis, who were leading a VENT tour (thanks!), and 3 Dark-eyed Juncoes on the center path near the tower.

I heard the Mississippi Kite is still around. A fine hawk flight was underway this morning - when I spelled Seth Cutright for a bit, I had to keep the clickers for Sharp-shinned, Cooper's, Kestrel and, for a few minutes, Peregrine in my hand, as all these species were passing one after the other.

If the winds die down as predicted, expect a very good nocturnal flight tonight. And it looks like another cold front will pass Friday afternoon/evening, boding well for Saturday, and taking the risk of looking beyond that, the winds may go northeast Sunday, and it's the peak of Peregrine migration time, and that could be a very fine collision of circumstances!

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