Friday, April 10, 2009


In a classic "It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a . . . holy guacamole!" incident, while driving north on Bayshore Road just south of Stevens Stret this afternoon I picked up a bird that didn't click. But it clicked fine when it was straight over my vehicle and not all that high and, well, it was a Pileated Woodpecker, long neck, white wing linings, red crest, and all. The Pileated continued south, probably passing over Paul Lehman's old house (the yard list record holder, but I don't think he had Pileated).

I quickly reached the Bird Observatory on the phone, as well as Bob Fogg, Michael O'Brien and Vince Elia, all of whom were within striking distance of the bird. Thus far it has not been re-located. The last time this happened (several years ago) the bird reappeared along Sea Grove, according to folks who've been in Cape May longer than I.

There are precious few Cape Island records for Pileated Woodpecker, most in May, and the bird is rare anywhere in Cape May County, although somewhat more likely in the northern part of the county.

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