Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reports from Cape May Point and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry

CMBO held a special bird walk for beginners on President's Day, which found some pretty fancy birds in and around Cape May Point State Park. CMBO offers walks at the state park every Saturday morning beginning at 8:00 a.m. The following report is courtesy of Karl Lukens.

"CMBO Walk for Beginners. We did well on many of the usual winter suspects and had several "bonus " birds including a Bald Eagle and Northern Goshawk seen by a few, close-up looks at Cedar Waxwings, as well as a Black-headed Gull with Bonaparte's Gulls at St. Peter's jetty, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull on the jetty. - Karl (Chuck, Mary Jane, Marc, Lynne, Warren)"

I opted to take a trip across the bay on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry yesterday. Bird numbers on the bay itself were not especially high - I included my eBird report below - but the trip offered good to spectacular views of Northern Gannets, Red-throated Loons, scoters, a single Red-necked Grebe, Forster's Terns, and many Bonaparte's Gulls. A similar species list, and likely higher numbers, can be expected on our March 14 Poor Man's Pelagic.

In the near-our-region department, Brown-headed Nuthatches were easy to find at Cape Henlopen State Park, DE, and the Black-bellied Whistling-duck continues at Spring Lake in Reheboth Beach, DE along with a marvelous mixed flock of ducks including over 1000 Canvasbacks.

Location: Cape May-Lewes Ferry NJ Waters
Observation date: 2/16/09
Number of species: 17
Brant 5
Greater Scaup 16
Surf Scoter 55
Black Scoter 20
Long-tailed Duck 40
Bufflehead 20
Red-throated Loon 70
Red-necked Grebe 1
Northern Gannet 2
Great Cormorant 2
Sanderling 5
Bonaparte's Gull 100
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Great Black-backed Gull X
Forster's Tern 2
Rock Pigeon X

[This light morph Rough-legged Hawk was photographed by Kevin P. Inman at Tuckahoe WMA on February 13. Tuckahoe has been excellent for Rough-leggeds this winter.]

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