Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October + Light Rain = Birds

Another drizzly October day befell Cape May today, but it was - perhaps predictably - a great day to be birding in Cape May. Though the skies over the Hawkwatch Platform were pretty bereft of life for much of the day, those visiting the site found plenty to enjoy - including folks attending our Wednesday walk this morning. First light found us in a parking lot filled with birds, with busy parties of Yellow-rumped Warblers and White-throated Sparrows working their way through the vegetation and smaller numbers of Chipping, White-crowned and Field Sparrows mixed in for good measure. The beginnings of a great day for watching Black and Surf Scoters was witnessed at the state park and last I heard, well over 20,000 had been logged at the Avalon Seawatch (and that was at 1PM, so I am certain there will have been more).

Though some heavier spells of rain detered a few watchers, those that persevered during brighter spells found a nice range of goodies; Clay-colored Sparrows were reported from the Hawkwatch and Cox Hall Creek WMA and the day ended with a Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird on Coral Avenue at Cape May Point. Such hummers are always annoying; by the realms of probability, it's likely to be a Rufous, but if you don't get the right look at the tail, you really can't quite be certain. There's been a lot of interest in hummingbirds since the Calliope was posted on the blog, which has been useful as it has turned up a number of late Ruby-throateds, as well as at least two Rufous Hummers.

The sight of gray, rainy skies over Cape May might not get you immediately rushing to get down here, but just take a look at the current weather forecast for the coming weekend - clear skies, NW winds - sounds good for birding, sounds great for CMBO's Autumn Weekend - come and be a part of The Bird Show!!

On a slightly different note, I had a phone call from Will Kerling today, informing me of some great news - just this week, Will had added a Sleepy Orange to the remarkable list of butterfly species that have been recorded at CMBO's Center for Research and Education in Goshen. Since observations started there, this represents the 64th butterly species to be recorded and testament to the great efforts put in by staff and volunteers to provide a great habitat for butterflies and other wildlife.