Friday, October 7, 2011

Pelican Crossing...

In another one of those famous Cape May "You never know what might happen next" moments, Tom Johnson texted the news that an American White Pelican was passing west over Cape May Point (spotted by Liza Gray). I snatched a quick moment from the office and managed to see its back end disappearing towards the bay - a tick for my Northwood Center list! Even more unexpectedly, a few minutes later, Tom texted that the bird was heading back west towards the Hawkwatch and it was then shortly reported heading north over West Cape May by Tom Reed. The saga continued this morning, as what was presumably the same bird appeared heading southward over Higbee Dike and proceeded to spend at least half an hour soaring over the west side of the peninsula in the Higbee's Beach WMA area.

Though the Upland Sandpiper showed well at Higbee's yesterday afternoon, it was not found this morning as far as I know - but maybe it will pop up again this weekend. This bird has proven to be very approachable, but please respect the bird and remember that Higbee's can attract large numbers of people, so give it space if there are more folks around. I would also please urge anyone to ask people yet again not to trample all over the Rye crop that has been sown in the first field at Higbee's. Despite my request, many people continue to walk all over it, even after having been asked nicely not to.

Higbee's was pretty busy this morning with Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Swamp, Song and White-throated Sparrows, Northern Flickers, Red-eyed Vireos, Northern Parulas and Blackpoll Warblers being the commonest species. A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was seen in the third field and Common Loons are now regularly passing overhead. At least three Nashville Warblers were at Higbee's this morning. Megan Crewe reported six Snow Geese south off Stone Harbor and the Seawatch at Avalon reported female Common Eider and male Redhead. A male Ring-necked Duck appeared at Lightouse Pond, the first of the fall as far as I have heard.

The weather isn't set for a big fall of birds this weekend, but it should be settled enough for a continued southerly drift of birds, so there should be plenty to look out for!

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