Friday, September 24, 2010

Higbee on a "Slow" day - Cuckoo + GWWA, COWA

[This Yellow-billed Cuckoo's fate is questionable, given a deformed or broken upper mandible, something I didn't clearly see until looking at the photos - it just looked very yellow-billed. Today's Higbee Beach walk, click to enlarge.]

Higbee Beach WMA was slow and thick with humidity and heat, but flocks of Northern Flickers and a Merlin livened things up, as did a group of titmice mobbing something in the second field "cove" - the indentation on the west side of the field. Flock catalysts that they are, the titmice soon had several warblers and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo nearby.  I heard of an adult male Golden-winged Warbler and a Connecticut Warbler in the same area this morning, but our group did not detect them during the walk. As always, the full list is up on Field Trip Reports.

Last night I circum-kayaked Nummy Island in the full moonlight (and don't miss Jupiter and its moons, easily visible in binoculars, even better in a scope), where, besides the night-herons and skimmers, a highlight was 35 Caspian Terns in a single flock over the base of the free bridge at dark, and at least 50 in the area generally.  This site gets the largest numbers of this species in Cape May County. I hear several Marbled Godwits were on the flats at the free bridge at low tide yesterday. The free bridge, by the way, is the bridge over Great Channel just south of Stone Harbor - called "free" because, well, there's no toll on that one, as opposed to the one at the south side of Nummy Island leading to North Wildwood.

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