Monday, February 2, 2009

Villas WMA (a.k.a. Ponderlodge) is the place!....

....For viewing White-winged Crossbills in Cape May County, it would seem. I received word this afternoon that a flock of crossbills were observed at the Villas WMA earlier today. As is typical they did not stay around too long but it would seem that anyone coming down to Cape May and hoping for a glimpse at this species would do well to spend a little time at this location. Not to mention the other goodies that have been hanging around the old golf course as has been mentioned in previous posts.

Another location one might try to see these beauties from the north would be the Cape May Point State Park, the pines in the back would be a good place to look. As well as the dunes (they are of course covered with pines) in between St. Mary's and St. Peter's. For extended searching you might try the whole dune line or heck anywhere in Cape May Point as pine trees are prolific and of course you never know what you may turn up.

Below are some photos from yesterdays birding in Avalon (see post info below). Photos provided generously by Karl Lukens. I am thankful that Karl showed up while we were on the jetty as I had stupidly forgotten my camera. Of course being the boyscout that he is, Karl is always prepared and wonderfully willing to share his great pics. For more photos of "interesting NJ birds" you might take a visit to his Karl and Judy Kukens' Website. Karl some how is pretty much always able to capture a shot or two of many of the rarities that visit southern Jersey.

Probably two of the most gorgeous ducks in North America!

This White-winged Scoter that has bee hanging out among the other sea ducks for the last week or so.

Some of the ten or so Common Eider and the hen King Eider that has been associating with them. Note the size and plumage differences which are readily apparent in this photo. Also note the structure differences in the head between the two species. Karl was able to capture an excellent comparison photo.

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