Friday, September 11, 2009

Shorebirds at the Airport; Roseate; Pipit; 4 Dead Tree Swallows. . .

Richard Crossley had the insight to check Cape May County Airport today after we got close to 6 inches of rain last night, and found a Ruff with over 400 Black-bellied Plovers and multiple Buff-breasted Sandpipers, along with smaller numbers of other shorebirds. Later in the day, numbers diminished and the Ruff was not seen again, but American Golden-plover was detected by me around 4 p.m. and later by Tony Leukering, along with 3 Buff-breasted Sandpipers. It was neat to see this array of shorebirds, which also included Pectoral Sandpipers, a lost-looking Ruddy Turnstone, adult and juvenile Short-billed Dowitchers, and yellowlegs, Semi-palmated Plovers, and Least Sandpipers, as they sometimes stood right on the airport runways. Access the airport by following the signs west from Railroad Ave, head for the museum and diner, and look east and especially north from the parking area there.

Tony and Bob Fogg detected an adult Roseate Tern, still with some pink blush, on the beach at 2nd Ave. in Cape May City in the afternoon, viewed from the pavilion there late in the day.

Glen Davis et. al had 2 Parasitic Jaegers from various places at Cape May Point today, surprisingly the first, at least that I've heard of, after so many days of east winds.

The hawk flight was unsurprisingly small given the weather, but some Merlins were perfecting their hunting techniques on Tree Swallows over Bunker Pond, and according to the CMBO Interpretive Naturalists stationed on the hawk watch, at least 4 Tree Swallows are fuel for Merlins now.

Winds are forecast to be SW tonight going to pure west by noon tomorrow, then northwest the rest of the day, which should bring some hawks here Saturday afternoon. West winds, even southwest, could push passerines to the coast overnight, too.

Looks like NW winds well into Sunday morning, which ought to bring landbirds to Cape May overnight for a good morning of birding Sunday, and NNW Sunday, which means a whole lot of people will be looking skyward here for hawks and other things.

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