Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's September, it's Cape May...

The topsy turvy world of migration continues to confuse and confound us as each day delivers us a completely new set of surprises. The week continues as before, with up days followed by down days and the only thing I can suggest is, if you're not out there, you're going to miss something!

The Clay-colored Sparrow remained right through today in the brush pile on the south side of Bunker Pond; our Wednesday morning walk group found it without difficulty - and added a Lincoln's Sparrow in the same pile of sticks too! Palm Warblers and Common Yellowthroats are still plentiful along the dune edge and a Dickcissel was reported from the main dune crossover at the park. The fall of birds that rushed through Higbee Beach oh so quickly on Monday morning did produce some nice finds later in the day, including at least one Connecticut Warbler in the second field at Higbee Beach and a really eventful afternoon down at Cape May Point with a good range of warblers reported, including at least two of the albilora race of Yellow-throated Warbler - a notably late date for this species.

The 25th was a little slower getting going but the middle of the day provided a Cliff Swallow over Bunker Pond and then a report of a Swainson's Hawk, which sadly didn't loiter. A Red-headed Woodpecker was reported by one observer at the Northwood Center - a very good bird indeed for the store list - and there was a whisper of a male Yellow-headed Blackbird at Cox Hall Creek WMA, but no other details on location. This morning started well for Steve Glynn, who reported at least two, maybe three, Parasitic Jaegers in The Rips, as well as a possible Pomarine Jaeger with them. Finally an early Winter Wren was seen at the Northwood Center today - a relatively early date for the species but the dark, overgrown ivy thickets at the store are a regular location for this species.

Duck numbers grow slowly at Bunker Pond (which seems to be favored over Lighthouse Pond so far this year) and at least six Pied-billed Grebes were there this morning. A Common Gallinule (or American Moorhen if you prefer) was on Lighthouse Pond East on both the 25th and 26th, though it can be very elusive in the cattails on the north side. This last location provided an excellent raptor show first thing this morning with Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks, Merlin and a Peregrine all making a play for a flicker breakfast!