Monday, October 18, 2010

Northern Shrike! Scissor-tailed Flycatcher! Sparrows!

Pretty happening morning so far.  A Northern Shrike appeared at the Higbee Dike, where (I understand) it was well photographed. Apparently it flew north across the Cape May Canal and hasn't been reported since. Northern Shrike is a very rare visitor here, and this one is quite early, too.  Tom Johnson coined the morning flight at the dike "nuthatchpalooza," we'll see what that exactly meant on his blog post tonight, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, Doug Gochfeld spied a distant Scissor-tailed Flycatcher from the Cape May Point State Park hawkwatch platform, northbound along the bay.  This bird has not been refound, but watchers at the platform this morning have extracted Clay-colored, Vesper and White-crowned Sparrows from the surrounds. I understand the CMBO sparrow workshop had 5 Vespers at the Beanery yesterday, one of the best places to find this bird. A moderate hawk flight was underway, with Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk and Red-shouldered Hawk all in view at once in the five minutes I was there!

The South Cape May Meadows/TNC Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge was hopping, too, with Nashville and Prairie Warblers seen on the CMBO walk with zillions of Swamp Sparrows, with a few White-crowneds, Savannahs, and a Lincoln's Sparrow along the main path. A fair number of Purple Finches were flying overhead, and we had Pine Siskins at the start of the walk.

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