Friday, December 4, 2009

Ivory Gull, Swainson's Hawk, Selasphorus Hummer, Orange-crowned Warbler, Harlequin

[Ivory Gull photo du jour, taken yesterday by Michael O'Brien. Hopefully no one is bored of this bird, even if it seems to be bored of us in this photo? It was discovered just one week ago by Jim Dowdell. Click to enlarge photos, and check out the Ivory Gull Photo Gallery.]

The Ivory Gull continues at Breezee Lee Marina through this morning, Day 8 for the bird found last Friday by Jim Dowdell and enjoyed by literally thousands since, and more birders to come. We all hope. The bird is remarkably tame, and feeds on fish carcasses left near the fish cleaning dock - and often dragged out of the water for the bird by birders. Being used to hanging around Polar Bears, I guess humans don't appear as major threats to Ivory Gulls.

The Swainson's Hawk is still here, reported last by Michael O'Brien soaring with vultures over the meadows and Beanery a little before 10:00 a.m. this morning. Michael also had the Harlequin Ducks at Poverty Beach this morning, reached at the north end of Beach Avenue. The Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird visited the feeder at the corner of Coral and Cambridge in Cape May Point this morning. Vince Elia found an Orange-crowned Warbler east of the east path at the South Cape May Meadows, a.k.a. the CApe May Migratory Bird Refuge. Doug Gochfeld poked his head in to tell me there are at least 5 Eurasian Wigeon in various plumages on Lighthouse Pond, and two different Common Moorhens in the pond complex at Cape May Point State Park.

Jake's Landing this morning featured Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Saltmarsh Sparrow and Marsh Wren. Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Hairy Woodpecker were among the birds in the woods along the road.

[This Marsh Wren at Jake's Landing revealed itself when I imitated its series of tek-tek calls. One Marsh Wren even sang a couple times this morning. This species winters in small numbers.]

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