Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Swallow-tailed Redux, Sunday at Villas, Today at Higbee

Saturday's Swallow-tailed Kite was initially spotted (I've been wanting to mention) by Susan Treesh during our CMBO Advanced Birding by Ear Workshop. The melee that followed was especially fun - Susan rushed to the front of the group almost speechless and looking as if she'd just seen a ghost, but managed to get us on the bird. Vince Elia called Seth at the hawkwatch, I later called Melissa Roach there to give updated directions, and before I knew it my phone was ringing with four or five people trying to tell me there was a Swallow-tailed Kite!

For the visiting birder, the best ways to tap into the most current sightings around Cape May Point are to ask at the hawk watch, ask at the Northwood Center, and check this web site. At least one of these, and usually all three, will be updated as quickly as possible with news.

Sunday afternoon the Hudsonian Godwit was at the Wetlands institute, according to Kathy and Roger Horn. High tide is best there. At Villas Sunday, sapsuckers and bluebirds were highlights on CMBO's morning walk, and in the late afternoon I saw an immature Red-headed Woodpecker there.

This morning at Higbee a moderate songbird flight was underway. I detected my first Winter Wren and Rusty Blackbirds of the fall. Other highlights were 3 Bald eagles, sapsuckers, both kinglets, and lots of Black-throated Blue Warblers attracted to the porcelain berries there. The sky seemed full of migrating Ospreys, undoubtedly there will be a big push of them today. Peak Osprey migration has historically been late September-early October, so we are coming into the period of the last big flights of the year for this bird, though they will continue in gradually diminishing numbers through November.

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