Friday, October 31, 2008


I have to say that one of the things I like best about this particular "holiday" is the making of jack-o-lanterns. It always takes me back to my childhood, sitting around with my brother and dad trying to figure out what type of face we wanted to carve. So, in the spirit of the day I figured I'd share the above image of the jack-o-lanterns that Laura and I carved the other night.

Since we try to keep tricks to a minimum on this site (though I am wishing that a smell sensor had been invented to give you the option to "smell my feet"!) I figured I fill you in on some of the treats from Cape May the last little while. As always, check the View from the Field section for the daily migration count information.

This morning I only had time for a quick walk around the Beanery. A Vesper Sparrow had been seen there yesterday evening so I figured that I'd take a look for that bird this morning. The nice treat for me was stepping out of the truck to find an Orange-crowned Warbler feeding in the porcelain berry directly across from the kiosk in the parking area. Also in that general area were three or four Blackpoll Warblers, a couple of Baltimore Orioles and a number of sparrows flitting about. While the Beanery was somewhat bird rich this morning, mostly it was the usual suspects. A few birds in song were a nice addition to the morning. One expects for White-throated Sparrows to be attempting song these days but you don't always expect to hear a Winter Wren in almost full song. It does happen at times, along with the White-crowned Sparrow as I heard also today.

The grown up portions of the Beanery proved to be the most sparrow rich with many birds easily flushing as I simply walked along. Of course as is usual for sparrows the majority decided to fly into cover rather than sit and allow me to observe.

Other birds from today, the first Fox Sparrow I've heard of for Cape May this fall was observed at the Cape Island Preserve by Bob Fogg. He also had a Clay-colored Sparrow there. A late White-eye Vireo and a Blue-headed Vireo were at Higbee. Also at Higbee were Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler and Rusty Blackbird.

A number of American Pipits were flying about today over many locations it would seem. I had a good number of Eastern Meadowlarks at the Beanery and the Robin flight continues to be strong. Purple Finches are showing in good numbers and at least one report of Pine Siskin flight over Cape Island Preserve.

Jumping back to the Beanery, I've pasted a report from the JerseyBirds listserv from Mike Fritz (CMBO Associate Naturalist) who was birding the Beanery yesterday for a little while. I thought that many who may not keep up on all the listservs might like to see the additional sightings.

"I birded at the Rea Farm ("Beanery") in W. Cape May this afternoon and was surprised at the songbird diversity for Oct-30. I mostly birded the sunny, out of the wind pockets and had 9 warbler species including Yellow-rumped (hundreds), Palm (60-70), Blackpoll (3), Orange-crowned (2), Nashville (2), Black-throated Blue (2), Common Yellowthroat (1), Black-throated Green (1),...N. Parula (1) a bright male no less! There was also a Dickcissel, two E. Phoebe, lots of E. Bluebirds as well as the more expected species.Tree swallows were everywhere at Cape May Point, but I couldn't find any other swallow species in the flocks."

As usual my list form this mornings walk is below. Also, the list from Chuck Slugg (CMBO Associate Naturalist), from yesterday's CMBO Hidden Valley Bird Walk.

Location: The Beanery
Observation date: 10/31/08
Notes: 3003 steps = approx 2 miles
Number of species: 49

Mallard 1
Common Loon 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3
American Kestrel 3
Rock Pigeon X
Mourning Dove X
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 6
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay X
American Crow X
Tree Swallow 10
Carolina Chickadee X
Tufted Titmouse X
Carolina Wren 4
Winter Wren 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 6
Eastern Bluebird 4
Hermit Thrush 2
American Robin 200
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 3
Brown Thrasher 2
European Starling X
American Pipit 25
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) X
Palm Warbler 12
Blackpoll Warbler 10
Eastern Towhee 4
Chipping Sparrow 3
Field Sparrow 5
Savannah Sparrow 65
Song Sparrow 20
Swamp Sparrow 25
White-throated Sparrow 50
White-crowned Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 15
Northern Cardinal X
Red-winged Blackbird X
Eastern Meadowlark 20
Common Grackle X
Baltimore Oriole 2
Purple Finch 8
House Finch 10
House Sparrow 6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

Location: Cape May - Hidden Valley Ranch
Observation date: 10/30/08
Notes: The final Hidden Valley walk started with a gorgeous male Northern Harrier and very close looks at mature Bald Eagles. Waves of American Robins flew overhead and the third field held a flock of Eastern Meadowlarks looking golden in the morning sun.
Number of species: 41

Canada Goose 18
Wood Duck 16
Mallard 12
Common Loon 28
Double-crested Cormorant 40
Black Vulture 4
Turkey Vulture 20
Osprey 4
Bald Eagle 5
Northern Harrier 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk 8
Cooper's Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk 5
American Kestrel 1
Merlin 2
Sanderling 12
American Woodcock 1
Herring Gull 7
Rock Pigeon 5
Mourning Dove 15
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 10
Blue Jay 20
American Crow 35
Carolina Wren 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
American Robin 10000
Northern Mockingbird 20
European Starling 75
Cedar Waxwing 20
Yellow-rumped Warbler 15
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 5
Northern Cardinal 4
Red-winged Blackbird 75
Eastern Meadowlark 24
Common Grackle 10
Brown-headed Cowbird 15
House Finch 1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

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