Friday, October 9, 2009

They Had to Wind Up Somewhere + Vesper Sparrow

Where they wound up was Cape Island. That southbound morning flight (see post below) didn't just keep going across the bay, and Cape May Point and Cape Island in general was riddled with Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, though truth be told it seemed like the number of Yellow-rumpeds did not match the morning flight volume. If it didn't, where did they go?

[Warbler migration, though now dominated by butterbutts and Palms, still has diversity, and here's proof. Yes, there's a Palm (yellow undertail coverts and white tail corners), but Karl Lukens caught Pine and Black-and-white Warblers in the same frame in Cape May today. Click to enlarge.]

[More proof, Northern Parula by Karl Lukens. Click to enlarge.]

[This drake Ring-necked Duck appeared on Lily Lake in Cape May Point today, an early arrival. Maybe record early - Sibley's Birds of Cape May (1997) shows October 21 as the earliest fall arrival date for this species. Most Ring-necked Duck migration occurs in early November, and they do overwinter if the ponds don't freeze. Photo by Karl Lukens, click to enlarge.]

Even with the south winds today, a hawk flight of about 500 birds materialized in the morning, clearly leftovers from yesterday. We're still experiencing internet challenges for our counters, but hopefully View from the Field will be updated with count results fairly soon.

A stroll around the Beanery a.k.a. the Rea Farm this late evening produced many of the lingering Palm Warblers mentioned above, plus some sparrows in the west fields - the pumpkin patch area. Among the many Savannah Sparrows was a Vesper Sparrow. Remember this area, a private farm, is open only to CMBO or NJAS members, or to people who obtain a pass from the Northwood Center. CMBO has a walk meeting at 7:30 there tomorrow, and I'm sure Vesper Sparrow will be on the agenda.

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