Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year's Day Hawk Flight, Nashville Warbler and other Landbirds, Rufous Hummers remain, Snowy Owl sort of not

[This Cape May Point State Park Eastern Phoebe hung on to be tallied on CMBO's New Year's Day field trip. Photo by Don Freiday.]

The coolest thing about today in Cape May was the raptor movement in response to the passing front and northwest winds. CMBO's second annual "Kick Off Your Year List in Cape May" field trip tallied at least 15 Red-shouldered Hawks, 35 Red-tailed Hawks, 3 harriers, 2 Bald Eagles, and a few accipiters at Cape May Point Stae Park- not bad for the first of January!

It was windy and cold, but the sheltered areas along the Red Trail at the State Park held a number of interesting landbirds, highlighted by a Nashville Warbler initially found by Vince Elia (thanks, Vince!), Eastern Phoebe, Palm Warbler (another Vince find), Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, both kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Eastern Bluebird. We flushed a Common Snipe near where the Red Trail joins the trail at the base of the dunes.

Waterfowl were moving actively, with most winding up at Lily Lake, which is still entirely open. The state park ponds will likely be solid ice tomorrow. Snow Geese, Northern Pintails, shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Hooded Mergansers, Lesser Scaup, and Ring-necked Ducks were among the highlights. Lily Lake also held it's customary Pied-billed Grebe - which we actually saw fly! - and American Coots.

We dipped on the Snowy Owl (s) at Stone Harbor, though others reported one bird in the morning at 111th street, and I heard of another on a light post at the parking area after 5 p.m. Stone Harbor Point had some interesting shorebirds, including a Red Knot with an injured leg, two Purple Sandpipers, and multiple Semi-palmated Plovers. Nummy Island added 3 "Western" Willets and Western Sandpiper.

I heard from Beth Ciuzio that she and Michael O'Brien had both of the Rufous Hummingbirds today, the one at 711 New England Road and the other at Bev Linn's house nearby on Foster Avenue.

Below is our list just from the state park. We wound up having 80 species on the day between the park and the Stone Harbor area.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 1/1/09
Number of species: 55
Snow Goose 15
Canada Goose 300
Mute Swan 6
Gadwall 2
American Wigeon 35
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 10
Northern Shoveler 4
Northern Pintail 5
Green-winged Teal 1
dark-winged scoter sp. X
Hooded Merganser 1
Red-throated Loon 1
Common Loon 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Black Vulture 8
Turkey Vulture 15
Bald Eagle 2
Northern Harrier 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2
Cooper's Hawk 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 15
Red-tailed Hawk 35
Killdeer 5
Wilson's Snipe 1
Bonaparte's Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 5
Herring Gull X
Great Black-backed Gull 2
Rock Pigeon 10
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 5
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 10
Carolina Chickadee 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 2
American Robin 10
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling 25
Nashville Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 40
Song Sparrow 5
White-throated Sparrow 10
Dark-eyed Junco 10
Northern Cardinal 8
Red-winged Blackbird 10
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 5

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