With a day's work over, I headed to the Hawkwatch Platform, only to find that the next round of migration was getting under way; by the time I left, just short of 300 Great Blue Herons had taken to the skies from cover around Lighthouse Pond, all eventually heading due south over the Delaware Bay - at one point some 30 of them grouped together on a convenient thermal which helped them on their way. American Kestrels and Merlins were constant companions, great chains of Double-crested Cormorants headed south along the Atlantic seashore and a party of four Brown Pelicans accompanied them - we also heard of a group of 10 coming down the bayshore but these headed out across the bay without rounding the point and gave us a miss. After a madcap game of frisbee with the young interns (yes guys, I'm starting to feel old now!), I thought that the birding was over for the day - but Cape May will often deal you an extra ace if you keep your eyes open. Arriving home, a quick scan of the lucid yellow sky soon after 7PM revealed an American Woodcock dropping into our back field to feed - but even that was not the grand finale; that prize went to the wonderful sight of a chunky female Peregrine that took a passing stoop at a Black-crowned Night Heron as it emerged from cover to continue its southward migration. An awesome sight!!!
So, if you want to enjoy some Cape May magic and beat the crowds; try a little dawn or dusk birding and see what you can find - oh, and if you like the pleasure of birding in good company, try one of our Cape May early morning or sunset walks; better still - see you here for the Autumn Weekend!!
End to another day of Cape May magic - frisbee, the lighthouse and a great sunset [photo by Mike Crewe]