Saturday, March 10, 2012

Snouting Around!

Cape May's butterfly watchers - with much assistance from the amazingly mild weather -  continue to re-write the record books this year. Though some experts have suggested that American Snout could winter as far north as New Jersey, I don't think that anyone has actually proved it - until now. The unstoppable Jim Dowdell started the ball rolling with a remarkable find of one at the Cape Island Preserve on February 1st. Will Kerling followed this with singles on February 17th and 22nd near Beaver Swamp WMA. Just a few days ago, on March 7th, Pat and Clay Sutton then found the fourth snout for the year, at Woodcock Lane off Route 47, but Will Kerling blew the doors off it all on March 8th with a remarkable count of 14 at Beaver Swamp! With no other evidence of species arriving from the south in any quantity yet, it seems pretty certain that these individuals have overwintered as adults locally, the best evidence yet that this species can do so.

American Snout at Woodcock Lane, March 7th [photo by Pat Sutton].

Mating American Snouts at Beaver Dam Road, South Dennis, March 8th [photo by Will Kerling].

Keep an eye out for Bald Eagles if you visit the South Cape May Meadows this weekend. This adult has been hanging out there a lot lately and often gives great views - here photographed by Joe Siekierski on March 8th.

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