Sunday, April 19, 2009

One of the best mid-April days of birding in Cape May. . .

[This Little Blue Heron entertained participants on CMBO's Sunday morning Villas WMA walk today. Photo by Karl Lukens]

"One of the best mid-April days of birding in Cape May" is how yesterday morning (Saturday) was characterized by Vince Elia and others. Birds seen on Cape Island (primarily Cape May Point State Park and Higbee Beach) included Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, Palm, Yellow-throated and Prothonotary Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrush, Baltimore Oriole, Blue-headed, White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireo, and House Wren. I hear there was some volume behind this flight, in addition to diversity. Many of these birds were picked up later in the day on the afternoon CMBO walk.

CMBO's Cruisin' for Loons and Waterfowl Cruise also did well on Saturday, scoring among other things great looks at a Whimbrel, according to Kathy Horn. There is still room on the April 25 Loons and Shorebirds Cruise.

Today in Cape May was expectedly slower, although I did have my FOS Common Yellowthroat at the state park and there were plenty of waterbirds like ibis, cormorants and herons around. Each plover pond at the state park hosted a pair of Piping Plovers, and two Common Snipe twisted past. An Eastern Meadowlark in the grass at the state park parking lot was another highlight. The two Snow Geese are still along Stevens Street, today out amidst the vineyard.

At Beaver Swamp WMA yesterday we found 2 eaglets capable of flight in and around the nest there, as well as a nice mixed flock of migrants near the parking area including a Blue-headed Vireo and Palm Warblers.

Janet Crawford reports from the Heislerville field trip on Thursday: "Highlights of the Heislerville walk on 4/16 were 1100 Dunlin in various stages of molt, a Peregrine Falcon that sent the shorebirds into the air, 2 Bald Eagles, 1 adult and 1 immature, clouds of shorebirds across the Maurice River at Bivalve, a close Yellow-crowned Night Heron, 4 Northern Gannets and an Osprey with fish so big that she could barely fly being chased by a horde of gulls. The Osprey went down into the marsh, and her mate joined her for the feast." The next Heislerville trip is Thursday April , 2-4 p.m., and there should be piles of shorebirds by then.

Yellow Rails have been reported on the jerseybirds listserve as calling well after dark at Turkey Point, and should be listened for at other salt marsh locations, e.g. Jake's Landing.
[More entertainement from the Villas WMA walk today, this banded Merlin was seen eating a bird. Photo by Karl Lukens.]

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