Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's afoot at Cape May?!

Last Friday evening I went along to the opening of the latest display of local wildlife photography at the Sluice Creek Gallery at our Center for Research & Education at Goshen. There was some fabulous examples of local work there (so do go along and have a look!), much of it by my talented friends and colleagues that I get to spend time with. But that nasty green monster known as jealousy reared its ugly head when I saw a wonderful black-and-white piece by CariAnne Slotterback. It was of a young raccoon, close up and personal, a full face shot and well worth the asking price!

Less than a week later, I got my chance to allay that jealousy; at last, I had a raccoon before me - good light and camera in hand. Perfect!! I snuck up to the tree and took my first shot:

CLICK!!! The perfect shot of - well, errr, umm, I'm not sure. Look's like someone in hairy pantaloons!!!

OK, so getting the perfect shot isn't so easy after all - let's have another go:

Nahh, still didn't get it - back to the drawing board!!

So what was this raccoon up to? Well, I think he'd been out late with his mates and had a few too many burgers as it took nearly 10 minutes to squeeze into his daytime hideaway in a tree at Cape May Point! He just hung there, head in the hole, back legs catching the breeze, until finally he struggled in and disappeared for the day.

Bird news today was thin, with half the Cape's birdwatchers heading for the Space Coast Bird Festival in Florida, but Don Freiday reported four American Tree Sparrows at the CMBO Goshen feeders and three XXXX** Sparrows on the corner of Bayshore and Stevens, right by the Rea Farm in West Cape May. I also had an American Tree Sparrow with a flock of 25 Dark-eyed Juncos at the state park this morning and a look at Sunset Beach revealed a small movement of Long-tailed Ducks out of the bay early morning.

**Luckily I spotted Don's post before I put this up so I quickly hid the bird name here - we'll let Don reveal all in due course!! My quizz photo was to be the one above, but I went for a different tack in the end!

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