The Seawatch started this weekend, so do please drop by at the north end of Avalon if you have a chance and see what's passing offshore - daily totals will be posted on our Seasonal Research page. Vince Elia got things going well there today with an early Common Eider.
Today didn't quite perform as well it might for birds, but our six-legged friends continue to draw the crowds. Monarch migration is in full swing now and both dragonflies and butterflies continue to provide much to look at. Michael O'Brien reported four species of saddlebags at the point today (Carolina, Black, Red and Striped) while Will Kerling found a very obliging Clouded Skipper which remained in one small area on the red trail in the state park long enough for several people to catch up with this species, which seems to be rarer now in Cape May than it was a few years ago.
Among a wonderful array of southern and western butterfly species being recorded in Cape May at the moment, perhaps the most unusual in appearance is the Long-tailed Skipper. This species is readily recognized by its long hindwing extensions and is currently being reported from all over the county [photo by Sam Galick].
Red Knot are present at Stone Harbor Point in good numbers right now. If you go looking for them, check carefully for any banded birds as reports of these all help to further our knowledge of this global traveller. This bird is carrying a geolocator datalogger, a device which collects and stores details of the bird's whereabouts, which can be downloaded and analyzed at a later date [photo by Sam Galick].
This bird skulked in bayberry bushes beside Bunker Pond in Cape May Point State Park on Saturday and set a few discussions going. It appears to show many of the features of Audubon's Warbler - the Western race of Yellow-rumped Warbler - but there are perhaps one or two anomalies in the plumage and the jury is still out as to whether it can be considered a true Audubon's, or whether it is perhaps an intergrade or hybrid between the Eastern and Western populations. Note the yellow wash to the small, pale throat area which favors Audubon's, but the suggestion of a supercilium and one or two other, weaker, features are rather ambiguous [photo by Tom Reed].