Tuesday, November 3, 2009

High and Dispersed; Late Season Migrants; Otters; and. . .DID YOU VOTE YET?

[River Otters have been seen on Cape Island on and off all summer and fall. Keep an eye out at the meadows, the state park, or Lily Lake, where this one posed today. Photo by Don Freiday, click to enlarge all photos.]

"High and dispersed" was how Scott Whittle described today's hawk flight, which still offered birds including a good number of Red-shouldered hawks, and the Golden Eagle that was banded yesterday. Around 3:00 p.m., we saw a nighthawk sp. - you have to add the sp. ever since November, 2007's Lesser Nighthawk perched near the platform.

My pre-work walk at Higbee and Hidden Valley revealed a decent flight of typical late-season stuff, including significant numbers of Purple Finches, Hermit Thrushes, and White-throated Sparrows, though not so many of the latter as were there yesterday. I clicked Hermit Thrushes and came up with 16, all heard. Four Wild Turkeys fed in the field across New England Road from the Hidden Valley parking lot. Eastern Meadowlarks and a Northern Harrier were other Hidden Valley highlights. I really like Hidden Valley at this time of year. It's a good spot for Orange-crowned Warbler, though I struck out on that bird today.

Doug Gochfeld reported Purple Sandpipers on the jetty at the Avalon Seawatch, and Tony Leukering got a yard bird when 3 Common Eiders flew south along Delaware Bay in Villas.

[This Golden Eagle was banded yesterday, and flew over the platform around 9:00 this morning.]

[Purple Finch at Higbee this morning. Note the markedly notched tail, overall rasberry wash, and dark cheeks, all of which help separate it from House Finch. Learn the tic note, too.]

[A few Palm Warblers are still around, including this one at Hidden Valley.]

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