A trio of CMBO walk reports from Saturday reveal how good the birding's getting:
From Belleplain: "The first Saturday Belleplain walk started off with a blustery, yet successful day. Excellent looks were given by Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-Throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, and Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. But the real highlight was a Red-tailed Hawk taking out a Grey Squirrel and absconding with it fresh in its talons! Leaders were Jim Armstrong, Bert Hixon, B.J. Pinnock, and Dave Lord."
From The Rea Farm/Beanery: "First CMBO Beanery Walk of the season. Clear and breezy but some birds showed in the sheltered areas. Nice look at Wilson's Snipe, Cooper's Hawk , Red-tail, and numerous Phoebes. One Horned Lark with Killdeer in the front field.
Karl, (Roger, Kathy, Jason)" [NJAS just completed a substantial reclamation of a section of the Beanery that had been coated with invasive species, mainly phragmites and porcelain berries. More on that in a future post.]
From the state park: "The highlight of todays 1st Bird Walk for All People [at Cape May Point State Park] was an adult Bald Eagle harrassing an Osprey until it dropped it's fish; the eagle caught it as it fell and flew off. A lone Piping Plover was huddled against some beach grass, cuteness-factor intact. There was a nice variety of ducks - Ring-necked, Blue and Green-winged teal, Gadwall, shoveler and wigeon. Phoebes and Yellow-rumped Warblers were fly-catching in several locations as were Tree and Barn Swallows. Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn, Patty Rourke & Janet Crawford."
The Black-crowned Night-Heron roost on the island at Heislerville grew to 49 birds in the high winds yesterday, as the birds hunkered on the lee side. If there ever was a bird that "hunker" applies to, come to think of it, it's Black-crowned Night-Heron.
And finally, Janet Crawford called me yesterday to report a hummingbird had appeared at her house - get the feeders up!