Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cape May Magic!

OK, here's a tester for you - where in the world can you see Audubon's Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler and Glaucous Gull in the same day? No, make that in the same lunch break!! The answer, of course, is Cape May - wonderful Cape May (have I said that before?!). Here's a quick picture essay from lunch time today which really should have you heading this way as soon as you can!

First summer/second calendar year Glaucous Gull at 2nd Avenue Jetty, found by Bill Glaser today. This is the plumage in which these birds really look white all over. Note the two-toned bill and the still dark eye, which will start to pale before the end of this year. Iceland Gull is overall smaller, usually with a more rounded head and the bill is usually a little less cleanly-marked. Incidentally, many birds have dark feathers in areas that receive the most wear and tear; this is because melanin helps to strengthen the feathers and is also the reason why pale marks along the edges of the feathers on young gulls and shorebirds (for example) wear away to become notches. An all-white Glaucous Gull can thus get rather worn and here you might notice the rather shabby, abraded feather shafts sticking out of this birds wings. [Photo by Mike Crewe.]

Northwood's Prothonotary Warbler continued to show well today and I couldn't help but take a few shots [photo by Mike Crewe].

Time for a drink at the Northwood bird bath - we even saw this bird visiting one of the hummingbird feeders, which is certainly a first for me! [Photo by Mike Crewe.]

I chanced across the Audubon's Warbler at Cape May Point State Park lunchtime too - at the junction of the red and yellow trails where Vince Elia and Sam Galick had reported it earlier today. Compare the photo above taken today at the state park while it was drinking at a puddle, with the two photos below, both taken beside Lake Lily on Sunday. It looks to me as though the greater covert pattern confirms these sightings as being of the same individual. [Photos by Mike Crewe.]

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