Thursday, July 5, 2012

Strangers at the point

There's been a few strangers at the point of late... "Strangers?" I hear you ask. Well, birds that are not quite so expected here right now. Even in mid summer, it seems that the old Cape May magic weaves its spell and draws in those oddball wandering birds!

Today, our Walk for All People at the state park turned up a Merlin, which was chased off by the local Red-winged Blackbirds - clearly they thought that this bird should not be here at the moment either! The American Coot that showed up last week also still lingers on the east half of Lighthouse Pond (though it is likely that this bird has been around since last winter when we had unusually high numbers of this species, it's just been hiding somewhere out of view) and a Great Shearwater was again off the point - presumably the same bird as seen on Tuesday. Up to three Mississippi Kites are wandering the point and, though mostly in some distant corner where we can't find them, they do seem to appear from time to time over the Rea Farm, so that's my tip for a location if you want to see them! These birds are more typically birds of spring here but, as this species continues to push its breeding range north, I guess we can hope to see them more regularly in future. A Sandwich Tern and three Lesser Black-backed Gulls were reported from the South Cape May Beach on 2nd, while Stone Harbor Point and nearby Champagne Island have recently hosted up to 58 Royal Terns, seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls, single Sandwich and Black Terns and a summering Surf Scoter. Black Tern and Whimbrel were reported from The Osprey boat trip on 5th and there was a small, early movement of Bobolinks over the point this morning.