Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Birds Around Cape May

["Ipswich" Savannah Sparrow, one of four photographed
by Sam Galick at Cape May Pt. State Park today

Yesterday's nor'easter pulled away from the area shortly after midnight last night, and left cold and breezy conditions in its wake today. Snow totals generally ranged from 3-6" through the southern half of the peninsula to 10-15" between Tuckahoe and Belleplain in the north.

There seemed to be a decent number of birders out today, likely suffering from cabin fever, and they came up with some nice finds. Sam Galick and Karl Lukens reported two Long-billed Dowitchers and a Glossy Ibis on Lily Lake, and I also heard that a Common Merganser, a scarce bird south of the canal, was seen there several times through the day.

Mike Crewe reported a Short-eared Owl in the dunes at St. Mary's at 11am, as well as 10 Horned Larks on the beach at the State Park. Also at the State Park today were a dozen Tundra Swans on Bunker Pond.

I also heard several reports today of American Woodcock feeding along roadsides in Cape May. Congregations of these birds along sunny roadsides are a common occurrence after a snowfall or heavy freeze, and Sunset Boulevard is often the best place to find the critters. Be careful when pulling over!

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