Friday, October 2, 2009

A Lot of Stuff Around + State Park Now Open

[Yesterday's male Hooded Warbler at Cape May Point State Park. It has not been found today, to my knowledge. Photo by Paul Lee.]

Word is that Cape May Point State Park is now open and will not be closed again, although next week some trails may be temporarily closed for spraying.

There is a lot of stuff around, despite the fact that the wind started blowing from the east in the early morning hours, and is southeast and increasing now. I listened for a bit in the dark this morning from Norbury's Landing and heard only 19 flight notes in 15 minutes, though four thrushes were represented (Swainson's, Gray-cheeked, Veery, and Bicknell's). Listening at the ferry terminal later produced zilch, leaving me some concern that Higbee Beach would be pretty dead for this morning's CMBO walk.

Higbee was not exactly dead, but migrants were few and far between. There were some good ones, though, highlighted by a flyover juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker, headed south from the tower field, and a Common Nighthawk picked out over the tower field by Josh Lawrey. A few White-throated Sparrows were calling near the parking lot, and a smattering of other migrants were around. The world's most cooperative Savannah Sparrow posed and posed in the tower field as accipiters passed overhead. As we left, a good movement of hawks was underway, along the west side of the peninsula as sometimes happens on east winds, including Broad-winged Hawks, accipiters, Osprey, and a Merlin.

In the rarities department, Dave Hedeen had a White-winged Dove at St. Peter's this morning, undoubtedly the one previously reported on private property along Bayshore Road. A guy named Rob who has been birding by bicycle around Cape May reported a Western Kingbird on the bike path, north of the canal, that runs from Sandman Avenue/Route 9 north to Cold Spring - this was from yesterday. A Western Kingbird was photographed on very private property in Cape May earlier in the week. Also yesterday, a Golden-winged Warbler and two Golden-crowned Kinglets were found by Jonathon Wasse of the UK at the Northwood Center and later seen by Mike Crewe. These have not been refound so far today.

In the sometimes-a-pain-in-the-neck-to-see department, Michael O'Brien had 8 Wild Turkeys in a yard along New England Road east of Higbee around 9:00 a.m. this morning.

So, east winds or not, good birding is to be had. Here's this morning's Higbee list:

Location: Higbee Beach
Observation date: 10/2/09
Notes: CMBO Friday Walk. A few sp. were leader-only, more heard only.
Number of species: 46

Double-crested Cormorant 20
Turkey Vulture 10
Osprey 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 40
Cooper's Hawk 8
Broad-winged Hawk 10
Merlin 1
Herring Gull 1
Mourning Dove 1
Common Nighthawk 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-headed Woodpecker 1 juv
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 60
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 15
American Crow 10
Fish Crow 10
Tree Swallow 15
Carolina Chickadee 2
Carolina Wren 5
House Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 10
Northern Mockingbird 1
Brown Thrasher 4
Cedar Waxwing 50
Northern Parula 2
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 2
Blackpoll Warbler 1
American Redstart 2
Northern Waterthrush 1
Common Yellowthroat 5
Field Sparrow 2
Savannah Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 3
Northern Cardinal 5
Indigo Bunting 2
Bobolink 1
Red-winged Blackbird 25
Common Grackle 1
House Finch 2

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