Two Western Kingbirds look set to spend the winter with us (if the weather holds) at Cresse Lane, off Route 9 in Erma. The birds favor the edge of a vineyard at the east end of the lane, just north of the wildlife management area. Please note that this vineyard is private property and should not be entered without the owner's permission - I hear that one or two visiting birders have recently forgotten this common courtesy.
Other recent birds include a Ross's Goose with the Snow Goose flock north of Reed's Beach on 26th (which may still be present but this is a difficult site to view), Orange-crowned and Nashville Warblers and a Common Yellowthroat at Cresse Lane on 27th and a White-winged Dove at Cape May Point on 27th to 29th at least. A Rufous Hummingbird also continues at a feeder at Cape May Point.
Snowy Owls continue to delight birders along the Jersey Shore and offer us a great opportunity to share some great viewing with members of the public. This male has put in a few guest appearances around Cape May Point over the past 10 days or so but mostly seems very good at staying out of the limelight. While much media concern continues to get people stressed over the plight of these 'starving' birds, studies of trapped birds have shown them to overall be fit and healthy [photo by Mike Crewe].
These two female King Eiders have been hanging around the free bridge at Nummy's Island for some time and hopefully will continue to do so into the new year [photo by Mike Crewe].
One of two Western Kingbirds that have been along Cresse Lane in Erma since at least December 15th [photo by Mike Crewe].
This White-winged Dove was an unexpected bonus to the end of the year and has most often been seen along Harvard Avenue, Cape May Point since it was first discovered on December 27th. It was quite a few feathers missing from the left wing so may perhaps have clipped an overhead cable [photo by Mike Crewe].
As if to highlight how mild it has been, this group of Tree Swallows, resting on the South Cape May Beach was part of a flock of 24 birds seen there on Christmas Day [photo by Mike Crewe].
And finally, don't forget two things: a) always keep an eye on your own back yard and b) always keep the camera handy! This juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk was photographed one-handed, through my living room window, while I was in the middle of a phone call with Richard Crossley - thank heavens for image-stabilized lenses!!! [Photo by Mike Crewe]
With the CMBO offices closed between now and New Year, booking for our January 1st Kick off your year list walk is tricky - and there are still just a few places left. If you wish to attend and haven't booked yet, you can show up at Cape May Point State Park for a 10AM start, but do come with cash in hand to pay on the day.