Thursday, April 29, 2010

Definitely Some Movement Last Night

[This male Baltimore Oriole graced Marvin Hyett's Margate yard yesterday afternoon.]

I'm losing track of what's new and what's not, arrival wise, but think Mike Crewe's Great-crested Flycatcher along New England Road this morning is new, as would be his Yellow-billed Cuckoo last night at the Beanery except for the very aberrant March bird. Mike also had Wood Thrush and a smattering of migrants.

Speaking of which, Vince Elia rang up a nice set of birds at Higbee this morning: 5 Black-and-whites, 3 Yellows, 2 Ovenbirds, 4 Eastern Kingbirds, Northern Parula, Blue-headed Vireo &c. Vince also reports increased numbers of common birds like House Wren, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat. At the Shunpike Road pond were six Solitary and 2 Spotted Sandpipers, and Cliff and Bank Swallows. Glen Davis similarly found a good migrant flock at the "SPCA" woods, at the north end of Bayshore Road near the Cape May Canal, including a female Summer Tanager.

I poked my head in at Pierce's Point Road on a lark, heard a few Yellow-rumpeds and was going to drive on, but then a Black-and-white sang so I stopped. This is a good general tactic, or at least it works for me - stop if you hear an obvious migrant, because there are probably others. And there were, the best of which was a male Hooded Warbler, with Northern Parula, Blue-headed Vireo, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager and Palms and Yellow-rumpeds aplenty, all in that little oak woods on the left as you drive in from Route 47. There also was a Belted Kingfisher out towards the end of the road.

Speaking of larks, I haven't mentioned the conspicuous and singing Horned Larks at Cape May County airport, but they are there, or were two nights ago. Drive in to the airport to the parking lot near the diner. You have to look through a fence or take the radical step of standing on the roof of your car to look over it. They just mowed most of the fields, and somebody's going to find an Upland Sandpiper or some good grass bird out there. Be sure to stay on public roads and park sensibly - this is one airport where, so far, they tolerate people with fancy optics staring at the runways (even from their roofs!)

Warren Cairo et. al.'s report from Nummy Island is up on Field Trip Reports - 30 returning Red Knots were highlights, as was a flyby Marbled Godwit and a leucistic dowitcher.

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