Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's A Beautiful Day In The Cape May Neighborhood!

Of course apropos for Valentine's Day, the next line..."won't you be mine!"

While it was a bit on the cold side this morning, from my living room window it seemed as if it would be a great day to get out and look at some birds. But then again, when it is not a good day for that?

I decided to head over the the Cape May Point State Park since it had been so long since I walked the trails and I am glad that I did! Though I was surprised to see the large work vehicles on the beach, but this did not deter the birds (well, may be it did keep some birds away from that portion of the beach).

Some seawatching from the first dune crossover produced a number of birds including many Long-tailed Ducks and Red-thraoted Loons flying around. Thousands of scoter roosting on the water but too distant to identify or really tell if there was much else mixed in for that matter. There were a good number flying around as well, but most were logged as "dark winged" due to distance. A very nice find was four Horned Grebes floating in the flat water about 100 yards. or so from the bunker. While looking at the birds from this location (they were back lit) I was trying hard to make at least one an Eared Grebe, but shape doesn't lie! Though it was a great study on the shape of Horned and reinforced just how similar the birds can look at a distance especially when back lit and the reflection off of the water helps to make necks and beaks appear thinner.

Five Green-winged Teal flying over Bunker Pond sounded for all the world like distant oystercatchers to my ear. Interestingly, at first I could only hear the birds and was scrambling with my eyes to find what at the time I thought should be big black and white birds. Then I noticed a refection of birds in flight on the pond water but could still not see the birds. This really made my mind go into overdrive. It was not until I put my bins to my eyes that I finally found the teal in flight. They were so well camouflaged against the vegetation in the background that I could not pull them out naked eye.

[The teal] Working like foreshadowing in my life, I did find an American Oystercatcher on the cove beach (down toward the Meadows) along with some gulls, Sanderling and a lone Ruddy Turnstone. This was not before I'd had four Snow Buntings flyover though, which is what made me walk along part of the beach in the first place.

While the State Park was quite excellent birding this morning with good birds such as fly over Horned Lark, probably the best find for me today was a flock of 10 White-winged Crossbills that flew over headed in a southerly direction. I was happy enough to spy the birds in the first place because they were not calling at all (though I thought I had heard one while on the very back trail and had resigned myself to that being one that got away). But I was even more please that after having contacted a few folks, that others were able to relocate the birds both on Whilden Ave. and at St. Pete's in Cape May Point.

One thing if for sure though, many species are tuning up for spring. I had no less than 9 or 10 species in full song this morning. I'd say a very nice day in the neighborhood indeed. At least this is the case any time I am able to find 68 or so species in just about 2 hours.

I've also included lists from yesterdays walk at the Cape Island Preserve and the Beanery for note.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 2/14/09
Notes: 4536 steps = approx. 2.95 miles
Number of species: 68

Canada Goose 55
Mute Swan 4
Gadwall 115
American Wigeon 80
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 50
Northern Pintail 4
Green-winged Teal 45
Surf Scoter 35
Black Scoter 60
dark-winged scoter sp. 450
scoter sp. 3500
Long-tailed Duck 45
Bufflehead 1
Hooded Merganser 6
Red-breasted Merganser 8
Red-throated Loon 45
Common Loon 6
Horned Grebe 4
Black Vulture 1
Turkey Vulture 4
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
Killdeer 2
American Oystercatcher 1
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Sanderling 35
Purple Sandpiper 10
Bonaparte's Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 50
Herring Gull 35
Great Black-backed Gull 10
Rock Pigeon 12
Mourning Dove X
Downy Woodpecker 4
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 12
Blue Jay X
American Crow 18
Horned Lark 4
Carolina Chickadee 35
Tufted Titmouse 20
Red-breasted Nuthatch 3
Carolina Wren 18
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Hermit Thrush 2
American Robin X
Gray Catbird 4
Northern Mockingbird 8
Brown Thrasher 2
European Starling X
American Pipit 5
Cedar Waxwing 15
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 45
Palm Warbler (Western) 1
Eastern Towhee 6
Field Sparrow 4
Savannah Sparrow X
Fox Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 16
Swamp Sparrow 4
White-throated Sparrow X
Snow Bunting 4
Northern Cardinal 22
Red-winged Blackbird 50
Common Grackle 15
Brown-headed Cowbird X
House Finch X
White-winged Crossbill 10
American Goldfinch X
House Sparrow X

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

Location: The Beanery
Observation date: 2/13/09
Notes: 2812 steps = approx. 1.83 miles
Number of species: 39

Canada Goose 135
Gadwall 2
American Black Duck 2
Mallard 65
Northern Shoveler 4
Green-winged Teal 8
Ring-necked Duck 4
Black Vulture 6
Turkey Vulture 10
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Rock Pigeon 6
Mourning Dove 8
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 6
Fish Crow X
Horned Lark 3
Carolina Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 4
Carolina Wren 2
Winter Wren 1
Eastern Bluebird 12
American Robin 75
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 150
American Pipit 3
Field Sparrow 6
Song Sparrow 4
White-throated Sparrow 6
Northern Cardinal 6
Red-winged Blackbird 30
Common Grackle 45
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
House Finch 3

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

Location: Cape Island Preserve
Observation date: 2/13/09
Notes: 4132 steps = approx 2.7 miles
Number of species: 38

Canada Goose 48
Mallard 2
Black Vulture 6
Turkey Vulture 4
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk 2
American Kestrel 1
Ring-billed Gull 10
Herring Gull X
Rock Pigeon 6
Mourning Dove 10
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 6
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 10
Fish Crow 1
Carolina Chickadee 8
Tufted Titmouse 15
Carolina Wren 8
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 125
Northern Mockingbird 6
European Starling 200
American Pipit 50
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
Field Sparrow 10
Fox Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 18
White-throated Sparrow 30
Northern Cardinal 12
Red-winged Blackbird 75
Eastern Meadowlark 19
Common Grackle 150
Brown-headed Cowbird 60
House Finch 10
House Sparrow 25

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

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