[Some of the 47 Red Knots at Stone Harbor Point yesterday, photographed by Bill Stewart of the DOS. The bird at right with neat pale feather fringing is a juvenile, the bird at left is still essentially in breeding plumage, the center birds are in between. By the way, since someone asked me today, Stone Harbor Point is a great place to find lingering Piping Plovers, too.]
Well, the phone isn't exactly ringing off the hook today (Tuesday) with bird reports, thanks to this Bermuda high and its south winds, 90ish temperature, and general bleh-ness. The 4 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks remain at Lighthouse Pond, and a White-rumped Sandpiper and a few Whimbrel were seen from the hawk watch platform at Cape May Point State Park. Bobolinks at least keep coming south, and more Brown Pelicans were seen today. A Sandwich Tern was on the beach at the state park.
Now, before we move on to some herps (meaning herptiles, or reptiles and amphibians), check out this from the NWS:
A BRIEF WARM UP ASSOCIATED WITH BERMUDA HIGH PRESSURE WILL END SEVERAL
HOURS AFTER WEDNESDAY'S COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE. A COOLER THAN NORMAL
AIR MASS WILL ARRIVE EARLY THURSDAY AND LAST INTO THE WEEKEND AS
LARGE HIGH PRESSURE IN CENTRAL CANADA HEADS FOR THE MID ATLANTIC
I'm going to hazard that Friday will be the best day, but Thursday could be good if the front clears early enough, and if the high keeps the winds out of the west and the temps cool, the weekend migration could be strong, too. This bodes well for our Fall Migration Sampler workshop this Friday-Sunday, which still has a few openings. (Hit the link and scroll down to learn more.)
In the meantime, if you're in town I'd think about hitting Stone Harbor Point or, if you're of a mind, make the drive up to Brigantine NWR. Or work the South Cape May Meadows/TNC Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, including the gulls and terns on the beach. Or just bird wherever in a relaxed mode, like CMBO's new Birding-EZ walk every Tuesday, the report from the first of which is up on field trip reports. I'm a big fan of relaxed paced birding, and if you look at the list from today's walk, you can see that it works!
Doug Gochfeld was counting hawks today, but he figures he'll be lucky if he gets 15. Eternal optimist that I am, I guessed 50, we'll see.
[Roger Horn found this Southern Gray Treefrog in a bluebird box at Cape May Point State Park Monday. . .]
[Believe it or not, this is a Southern Gray Treefrog too, on the Higbee Beach WMA morning flight platform a few days ago. This species can be gray, brown, green or even close to white, depending on changes in its environment. Note the swollen toe pads for suction. Gray treefrogs can easily ascend glass windows, and sometimes do at night, attracted to insects attracted to lights inside.]
[While everyone was ogling the Yellow-bellied Flycatchers at Higbee on Sunday, we found this beautiful young Black Racer in the Virginia creeper carpeting the ground. Young racers are highly patterned, but become mostly black by the time they are 2 feet or so long. Smooth scales (not keeled), round body in cross-section, and swifter behavior help separate it from a Black Rat Snake at any age.]