Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's happening out there

"Are you at leisure today, Mark?" Mark Garland leaned over the hawk watch platform railing and replied, "I have about 12 hours of office work to do today, but it's October 8 and northwest 10 to 15."

My sentiments exactly. There are just birds all over, with raptors taking center stage: kettles of Broad-winged Hawks, plenty of accipiters, Ospreys sailing through. My CMBO Bird Walk for All People finished 45 minutes late because there was too much to look at - I posted the full list from that below. My sense was the state park is again holding warblers, so perhaps more birds and more species will be located as the day wears on.

Higbee was good - Mike Crewe told me he and Megan found nice birds at the back of the third field, including two Blackburnian Warblers, Black-throated Green Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, and White-crowned Sparrow. Vince Elia found a Gray-cheeked Thrush and an American Woodcock, and he and Virginia Rettig had good little flocks of warblers passing in the first field.

The CMBO Hidden Valley walk found a Connecticut Warbler, seen by part of the group, plus Scarlet Tanager and good raptors.

[Today would be the day to learn to tell Cooper's Hawk from Sharp-shinned Hawk - or you can attend one of our free hawk i.d. workshops every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October (except during the CMBO autumn weekend, October 23-25). These begin at 10:30 in the classroom at the state park, and feature photographs from the best raptor photographers around, including, here, Jerry Liguori's work. In this image, CMBO Interpretive Naturalist Ari Waldstein explains Cooper's Hawk to the crowd.]

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 10/8/09
Number of species: 62
Canada Goose 40
Mute Swan 10
American Wigeon 4
Mallard 15
Northern Pintail 4
Green-winged Teal 2
Pied-billed Grebe 2
Double-crested Cormorant 50
Great Blue Heron 8
Great Egret 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 5
Turkey Vulture 20
Osprey 8
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 100
Cooper's Hawk 20
Broad-winged Hawk 30
Red-tailed Hawk 2
American Kestrel 1
Merlin 5
American Coot 9
Killdeer 30
Laughing Gull X
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Great Black-backed Gull X
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 10
Chimney Swift 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 10
Blue Jay 40
Fish Crow 50
Tree Swallow 100
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Carolina Chickadee 5
Carolina Wren 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 5
American Robin 5
Gray Catbird 3
Northern Mockingbird 3
Brown Thrasher 2
European Starling 20
Yellow Warbler 1
Cape May Warbler 1 (leader only)
Yellow-rumped Warbler 40
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Pine Warbler 3
Palm Warbler 15
Blackpoll Warbler 2
Common Yellowthroat 5
Eastern Towhee 1
Swamp Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 2
Indigo Bunting 1
Red-winged Blackbird 50
Common Grackle 1
House Finch 3
American Goldfinch 50
House Sparrow 10

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