Saturday, March 27, 2010

Black-necked Stilt highlights a chilly day

Though it was a fabulous sunny spring day today, the thermometer at my house didn't reach the 40F mark as a chilly wind blew through Cape May. Spring continues to send us little feathered gifts in ones and twos and at least one of the Black-headed Gulls was reported again from Miami Beach along the bayshore side of the peninsula. Otherwise, it was quiet and I thought the omens looked bad when I hit Groundhog Day! Yes, I saw my first Woodchuck of the year today, but the sun was shining on him, so hopefully that bodes well for an end to all the rain we've been having.

Well luckily Groundhog Day didn't settle in, as Sam Gallick pulled a star bird out of the hat - a fine Black-necked Stilt on the canal impoundments in West Cape May, just east of Route 626 bridge and south of the canal bridge. Observers there later in the afternoon also found a Least Sandpiper.

Today's star bird, a Black-necked Stilt - an exceptionally early bird here as Sibley's The Birds of Cape May lists April 28th as the earliest date for Cape May, while the earliest for New Jersey according to ebird is April 4th. [Photo by Mike Crewe]

It's a great bird, so here's another picture! [Photo by Mike Crewe]

Woodchuck (aka Groundhog) at Stone Harbor today - worryingly in the shade in this picture!! [Photo by Mike Crewe]

Now, is it me or have I written this before.......

A quick Post Script: Tom Magarian tells me he counted 860 Northern Gannets flying north off 2nd Avenue between 5 and 6pm today - an impressive movement.

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