Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Virginia Rail + Fox Sparrows

[This Virginia Rail is weathering the cold at the Beanery, of late forced into the patch of open water on the west side of Bayshore Road near the railroad track crossing. Photo by Karl Lukens, click to enlarge.]

Karl Lukens sent the following report from yesterday around Cape May Point: "Most all the ducks were on Lily Lake today (the only open water around) with the Redhead and Eurasian Wigeon among them. 6 Tundra Swans still on frozen Bunker pond. Lots of Fox Sparrows in the yard and at the State Park. 4 Horned Larks at the edge of the main Runway at the Cape May County Airport, but could find no Pipits, maybe better when there are some grassy edges . While looking for the Rusty Blackbirds at the watery area near the old Railroad crossing on Bayshore N of the Beanery on the west side, I lucked into the Virginia Rail that Mike Crewe reported there earlier. Not bad for a snow covered day in Cape May."

I'll say not bad!

This morning I poked around Jake's Landing and Old Robbin's Trail. At the horse farm near where Old Robbin's Trail runs off Route 47, sparrows had concentrated under cedars where the horses had cleared patches of ground. Continuing the Fox Sparrows everywhere theme, in a single scan I did an actual count of 25 Fox Sparrows, not a record-breaking number but still pretty significant. Five or ten more were on Jake's Landing Road where it meets the marsh, and a first year Bald Eagle was perched in the snags on the right as you head out the road, and a single American Pipit flew over the marsh.

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