Sunday, September 5, 2010

Define "As Good"

[Common Nighthawk on a lichen strewn branch along the first field path at Higbee Beach WMA this morning (Sunday). Click to enlarge.]

Nowhere near the number of warblers and other migrants flew out of the woods at Higbee this morning (Sunday) during Morning Flight (so the prediction for it to be "as good" as yesterday was wrong), yet the diversity was good and some of the looks were better than yesterday, thanks to the diminished wind. My sense was that our perch this morning from the morning flight platform offered better views overall than the folks up on the dike were getting, and the Higbee fields were better still - at least 4 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, plus Alder and Least gave a chance to practice the clues Mike Crewe shared below, and small flocks of Red-eyed Vireos included at least one Philadelphia Vireo in the second field, and I don't know how many species of warblers, again mostly redstarts.

The good shorebirds continued, including Baird's and Buff-breasted Sandpipers at the meadows plus another Buffy at the Higbee dike and a flyby Upland Sandpiper. Something I neglected to mention yesterday were the three Upland Sandpipers at the Cape May County airport, no word from there today. Veeries were fairly common today at Higbee (by ear, mainly) and 5 were around the Northwood Center. I hear the Black-bellied Whistling-ducks were still at the Cape May Point State Park, where a moderate hawk flight featured Ospreys, kestrels, Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, and a few accipiters.

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