Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shorebirds A-Plenty

Drizzly rain that keeps pestering us and 'wrong' winds have been playing havoc with aspirations as birders move into town for the first annual Cape Maygration Festival, a week-long celebration of Cape May's birds that has grown from our Spring Weekend events. However,  it's a pretty poor day when there's nothing to see around Cape May and this was typified by the Prothonotary Warbler that sang for most of the day yesterday, right outside the Northwood Center on the edge of Lake Lily. This time of year, attention turns to the shorebirds that pass through here in great numbers in May, so here's a quick celebration with some recent photos.

Some great photos have been taken of Curlew Sandpipers at Heislerville over the past week, with at least four different birds being reported from there. Karl Lukens captured this shot at the impoundment on the left at the end of Matts Landing Road, which has been the best place for them this year. Try to be there on a high tide for your best chance of seeing one.

A real bonus for some at Heislerville was this adult female Red-necked Phalarope, found by Tom Reed amongst some 30,000 shorebirds! [Photo by Roger Horn] 

Short-billed Dowitchers are plentiful in the backbays at present (particularly around Nummy's Island) but what was speical about this shot for me, was that Beth Polvino took it from a kayak. Birding by kayak is a regular part of our program this year and offers an opportunity to get into creeks and saltmarsh that aren't accessible any other way - who knows what you might find out there! To pre-register or find out more about our CMBO guided kayaking trips, call 609-884-3351.

News from elsewhere includes reports of up to two Eurasian Whimbrel at Brigantine, the White-faced Ibis continues off and on at the south end of Stipson Island Road and up to two Lesser Black-backed Gulls are loitering around Cape May Point. The Glaucous Gull has reappeared at 2nd Avenue Jetty (after doing a vanishing trick for World Series day!) and Bob Fogg reported a Piping Plover on the beach at Norbury's Landing which is a little unusual that far up the bayshore side.

Right now, the sun is trying to break through - let's get out there!

If you want to see Clapper Rail - get in a kayak like Beth Polvino did to get this shot!

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