Friday, February 25, 2011

Sleepy Cape May

When the birding community starts a doodling competition on bar napkins during the local quizz-o night, you know that the birding is quiet at Cape May (decorum prevents me from naming the artist, but I have the originals safely hidden away!!). But of course, this is Cape May and there's always something out there. If you're thinking of coming down this weekend, you might check along the bayshore from the ferry terminal northwards to Miami Beach, where two Black-headed Gulls lurking somewhat elusively. Don Freiday reported them both, along with four Forster's Terns and some 80 Bonaparte's Gulls at Miami Beach on the 24th and in the current weather they're probably not going anywhere just yet. Don also reported a first cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull from Champlain Lake, which nestles in a residential area along Champlain Drive, between the Villas Wildlife Management Area and the bayshore (if you're really keen on testing your identification skills, there's also a mottly collection of hybrid Mallard x Black Ducks there!).

In general, there are still plenty of ducks on the ponds round and about, some smart, breeding-plumaged adult Great Cormorants with highlights in their hair now and there may well still be a Short-eared Owl at The Meadows - I saw one perched on a white post there as I drove along Sunset Boulevard Wednesday evening but techno-fear took over me and I discovered that my efforts to text on a new phone had not come off - apologies for that!

Michael O'Brien's Gull Workshop takes place this Saturday so I hope to see you there (you might still squeeze on last-minute if you call 609-861-0700 NOW!!)

American Herring Gulls at Cape May Point - just waiting to be sorted out by the gull workshop... [photo by Mike Crewe]

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