Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Invasion of the Nuthatches, Dickcissel and Where is the Kite?

 [Red-breasted Nuthatches are staging one of the biggest invasions we've seen in recent years, e.g. 276 (!) counted at the Morning flight this morning.  This one was in Cape May Point on Saturday, click to enlarge.]

Hordes of Red-breasted Nuthatches, yes, but even more unusual than they (or the single Connecticut Warbler) were 18 White-breasted Nuthatches at Higbee Beach Morning Flight today (Tuesday). By the way, if you're not keeping up with the seasonal counts on View From the Field, I highly recommend you do - our staff are putting up great photos and insights, not just numbers.

A Dickcissel was seen at the Avalon Seawatch. . .in the pines near the watch, at the end of 7th Street. Seawatch is coming into prime time now. And about that Kite - the Connecticut White-tailed Kite has apparently disappeared - how far from the Cape May Hawk Watch is it right now?

[It's prime time for the gleaners, the various birds that depend on insects but can find them in cool fall weather by searching crevices or tufts of foliage for dormant prey.  The Brown Creeper is one such specialist - check out this bird's hind toe, adapted for, well, creeping! This one was at a Chinese Elm in Cape May Point over the weekend, drawn by minute emerging insects clustering on the elm, a phenomenon that happens with this tree species every October. Other gleaners include both kinglets and the nuthatches.]

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