Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hawkwatch: Day 1!

Yes, it really is September 1st and at Cape May that can mean only one thing - the start of another exciting season on the Hawkwatch Platform at Cape May Point State Park. Our Seasonal Naturalists started today, as did the Hawkwatch and, with the Morning Flight also now well under way, it's all systems go for another awesome Cape May Fall! Here at Cape May we are doubly blessed; we have a fabulous location from which to watch Fall migration in all its glory, and we have an amazing number of fabulous naturalists - both established and up-and-coming - from which to draw. And it's testament to the excitement of Cape May that we regularly have returning naturalists on our books who just can't break that Cape May spell.

All of our counters this year are old friends; Melissa Roach returns to be Hawk Counter, Tom Johnson is once again the Morning Flight Counter and Cape May's own, home-grown Tom Reed will be Seawatch Counter later in the season. Tom Magarian heads back to join the team as Swing Counter.

Seasonal Interpretive Naturalists at the Hawkwatch this year include two new faces, Lauren Richard and Kathy Hixson, while last year's Interpretive Naturalist, Tiffany Kersten, returns to be our George Myers Field Naturalist. We are lucky to have two Field Naturalists on the Monarch Monitoring Project this year - Rebecca Allmond and Tori Pocius (watch out for them in flower gardens around the point!) and last but by no means least, we have Alyssia Church returning, this year serving with the Hawk-banding team.

Unfortunately, some of our regular sponsors were not able to find it in their budgets to cover our fall research this year, understandable in the current economic climate; but we are extremely grateful to Swarovski Optik for stepping in and sponsoring the Cape May Hawkwatch for the season - come on down and try out some awesome optics folks!

What team, and what a great day to start, with a nice display by berry-feeding Tree Swallows all day, a slow but steady Hawk Flight and some 100 or more Bobolinks rounding off the day by wheeling around over the ponds late afternoon. The Brown Booby continues out at Jarvis Sound and it's all setting up to be a great weekend folks - see you here!!

This year's team: Back row - Tom Johnson, Pete Dunne, Kathy Hixson, Tiffany Kersten, Lauren Richard, Tom Magarian. Front Row - Rebecca Allmond, Melissa Roach, Tori Pocius.

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