Monday, November 8, 2010

Of Longspurs and GROSBEAK, Buntings and Swallows, and Photos

[Ray Duffy sent this great shot of one of Saturday's Lapland Longspurs at Cape May Point State Park. The rufous greater coverts are perhaps the best mark on "lapspurs" - and lapspurs provide a good lesson as to which feather tract the greater coverts comprise: that rufous swatch of feathers on the wing.]

First, the Grosbeak is an Evening (!)  . . a female, from a report that could hardly be more reliable, under a Cumberland County private feeder yesterday. Evening Grosbeaks are so much less common than they were 20-odd years ago, apparently through no one's fault but the decline in spruce budworm outbreaks on their breeding grounds, the budworm being a prime food source. An Evening Grosbeak invasion has not been forecast for this year, but even a single is encouraging.

The Buntings were Snow, 13 at the Avalon Seawatch yesterday per Tom Reed, and a "crippling view" of a single on this morning's South Cape May Meadows walk, for those few hardy souls on the next-to-last of those walks. Michael O'Brien found a dozen plus Cave Swallows on the Cape May beachfront, a repeat in location if not volume of previous falls.

And photos. . .sigh. My camera is off to the shop for a spell, sniffle, sniffle. Tony and Mike and the other regulars do such a great job of populating this space with photos that readers will hardly notice, but I feel naked already. Especially since its rarity season.

Speaking of photos, by the way, more and more readers are sending them along, witness the one above. Each is appreciated, though it will be understood that we can't use them all. If you got something you think View From the Cape readers will enjoy or profit from, send it to the email for reporting sightings, above, ideally with your watermark already on it and 800 pixels in the largest dimension.

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