Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer in the back bays

As far as the birds of Cape May are concerned, summer is now officially here. Migration is drawing to something of a lull (though never a complete stop it seems) and local birds are frantically trying to find enough food to satisfy this year's growing youngsters. Finding breeding birds in dense woodland is always something of a chore so it is often to the backbays and saltmarshes that we turn to get the best birding opportunities during the summer months. As an opener to some wonderful Cape May summer birding, here's some fabulous shots from Jane Ellison, someone who always seems to have the knack of getting herself in the right spot for that extra-special photo!

Warm late afternoon light always gives the colors of Glossy Ibis an extra glow [photo by Jane Ellison].

Tricolored Heron at Nummy's Island, striding out in the fresh green of new cord-grass growth [photo by Jane Ellison].

That brilliant bill of American Oystercatcher just can't be resisted when you have a camera in your hands! [Photo by Jane Ellison]

Breeding Ospreys seem almost to be at saturation levels in Cape May waters and the proof of a good breeding season will be the number of chicks that fledge. Many of our Ospreys lay three eggs and you can just see three tiny heads in the nest here [photo by Jane Ellison].

Even birds as big as an Osprey get little peace from their neighbors. Red-winged Blackbirds are amazingly ferocious birds when it comes to seeing off potential predators and they don't discriminate between fish-eating Ospreys and bird-eating Cooper's Hawks! [Photo by Jane Ellison]

Recent Sightings
Brigantine continues a nice run of birds with a recent Marbled Godwit to add to the interesting shorebirds there this past week. Mississippi Kites continued into the weekend but seem now to have moved on; a report of three at Belleplain on 1st around Nummy's Lake shows that they have certainly dispersed well beyond Cape May Point and it is always worth keeping an eye on the sky during sunny spells. The Brown-headed Nuthatch saga which started a while ago continued with a report of one calling as it flew all too quickly past the Pavilion Circle at Cape May Point on 4th. Sam Galick and Josh Nemeth were on hand to witness the event but the bird didn't hang around it seems. There's plenty of opportunity for someone to find out where this bird is spending its time - maybe somewhere in the Japanese Black Pines around Cape May Point's dunes...