Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hurricane Coming; CMBO closed + Hurricanes of Yore

As a precaution due to approaching Hurricane Earl CMBO centers will be closed on Friday September 3, and morning programs are cancelled.

Precautions or no, of course, birders are known to say "We need a good hurricane." From a birder's perspecitve, Earl, due to pass 150 miles offshore, isn't a particularly good one, although it is a very wide storm.

Vince Elia, Cape May bird data-meister, and I were talking about hurricanes of the past (none of which I was here for, aargh). The ultimate good one was Bertha, whose eye went right up Delaware Bay on July 13, 1996. Bertha produced 8 Black-capped Petrels, 11 Band-rumped Storm Petrels, 2 Bridled & 5 Sooty Terns. . .sheesh.

On 16 September 1999 Floyd passed east but close to the coast (within 15-20), bringing over 30 Sooty Terns and 8-10 Bridled Terns.

Isabel, on 19 September 2003, came ashore in North Carolina but tracked north all the way to Pennsylvania over land, and with that track came a smorgasborg to Cape May: 34 Sandwich Terns, 16 Roseate Terns, 5 Bridle and 2 Sooty Terns, a Black-legged Kittewake, 15 Pomarine Jaegers, Band-rumped Storm-petrel, 2 Red-necked Phalaropes.

Finally, Ernesto tracked inland on 2 September 2006. We were in NE quadrant and received over 200 Red-necked Phalaropes, 11 Sooty Terns, 12 Bridled Terns, 32 Pomarine Jaegers, 3 Long-tailed Jaegers.

My thanks to Vince for his careful record keeping and insights. Rest assured, people will be out looking tomorrow. And, by the way, with the cold front, the weekend looks very interesting in a more conventional Cape May way that could still be spiced with hurricane waifs.

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