It is usual to presume that not much is happening in the way of bird movements in Cape May in January, but the last 24 hours has suggested otherwise. Hottest news involves a male Western Tanager, found at the intersection of Cape Avenue and W. Lake Drive around 4PM this afternoon. Unfortunately it flew off westward all too soon but may well still be in the area and will be looked for tomorrow. It headed off between Oak and Alexander Avenues into an area that was too well wooded and scrubby to get into. On Lake Lily, at least 25 Hooded Mergansers were present today (there having only been four there recently until now) as well as a female Common Goldeneye - a scarce bird south of the canal. The Cackling Goose, male Greater Scaup, juvenile Common Merganser and female Redhead continue on Lake Lily today.
Just as intriguing as the tanager comes a report of an adult male Painted Bunting at a backyard feeder in Cape May which first appeared on 21st and was still present on 24th. The site is currently unviewable but news will be put out if the bird moves to a better location. It is tempting to think that this may be the same bird that was on Bayshore Road back in early December and has perhaps been lurking somewhere ever since; but perhaps it - and the tanager - are evidence of bird movements here even at this time of the year.
Interestingly, I noticed at least four Gray Catbirds calling in the last 24 hours after having had none for several weeks, as well as two Fox Sparrows at Higbee's Beach this morning and calling Golden-crowned Kinglets at Higbee's and the state park. Warren Cairo reported a Yellow-breasted Chat still present at the state park today.
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