Friday, November 8, 2013

Week in review: 1 - 8 November, 2013

CMBO is pleased to provide weekly summaries of the Cape's birding highlights. Coverage is limited to sightings in Cape May County. Readers should keep in mind that some reports may not be confirmed. Information and photos that may be of use for weekly summaries should be emailed to compiler Tom Reed (coturnicops at gmail dot com). 

Location Abbreviations: ASW (Avalon Seawatch), CMHW (Cape May Hawk Watch), CMPSP (Cape May Pt. State Park), SCMM (South Cape May Meadows)  

--The period began with strong southerly winds ahead of a cold front that arrived 2 Nov. Winds became westerly for about 36 hours and produced good songbird and hawk flights 3-4 Nov. High pressure built over the Cape 5-6 Nov, with light easterly winds and little migration. A cold front with associated rain showers arrived 7 Nov and brought strong NW winds 8 Nov. Notable birds included American White Pelican, White-winged Dove, (possible) Black-chinned Hummingbird, Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird, Western Kingbird, and Red Crossbill.--

Two Eurasian Wigeon remained at CMPSP/SCMM through 8 Nov (m. ob.). A strong scoter flight occurred 4 Nov, when over 40,000 were recorded at ASW (CB). Unfortunately, most data from ASW was unavailable. Four Common Eiders were reported from the 2nd Avenue Jetty 6 Nov (AMM). Four American White Pelicans were seen soaring east of the Rea Farm/Beanery 3 Nov (CS), and ten American White Pelicans flew south past CMPSP 4 Nov (RC et al.). A lingering Brown Pelican was seen offshore CMPSP 6 Nov (TR). Large hawk flights occurred 3 Nov (1,865 individuals) and 4 Nov (1,005 individuals) [TR]. Noteworthy single-day species totals included 10 Golden Eagles, 403 Red-tailed Hawks, and 152 Red-shouldered Hawks 3 Nov (TR).

American White Pelicans over Cape May Point, 4 Nov. [Photo by Tom Reed]


Multiple Virginia Rails were heard at SCMM throughout the period (m. ob.). A late American Golden-Plover flew over CMHW 7 Nov (TR). Pectoral Sandpipers were still on the move, with sightings from CMHW through 8 Nov (TR). Lesser Black-backed Gulls continue to be found regularly on beaches around Cape May Point (m. ob.). A White-winged Dove flew past CMHW 4 Nov, the first of the season (TR). Two Eurasian Collared-Doves remained in Cape May Point, with the latest sighting 1 Nov (KL). Multiple Long-eared and Short-eared Owls were observed lifting off from SCMM and CMPSP at dusk 3-4 Nov (v. ob.). Small numbers of Northern Saw-whet Owls were banded at SCMM during the period (fide AH). A possible Black-chinned Hummingbird was photographed in a Del Haven backyard 7 Nov (HT). A Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird visited a North Cape May backyard throughout much of the period (BP). 

A Western Kingbird flew past CMHW 4 Nov (TR). Cave Swallows were seen at CMHW Nov 3, 4, and 8 (TR), with a peak of 15 on Nov 3. Barn Swallow sightings continued at CMHW through 8 Nov, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows were observed through 3 Nov. Two Bank Swallows were seen at CMHW 3 Nov, and a Cliff Swallow made an appearance 7 Nov (TR, m. ob.). Largely absent this fall, a small influx of Red-breasted Nuthatches was noticeable around Cape May Point 3 Nov (v. ob.). Also noticeably scarce on Cape Island this fall, a White-breasted Nuthatch flew past CMHW 3 Nov (TR). A huge movement of Eastern Bluebirds (600+) graced the skies over CMHW 8 Nov (TR). An impressive morning flight over Cape May Point 3 Nov was highlighted by approximately 200,000 American Robins (TR, DG, TJ). Over 200 American Pipits migrated past CMHW 8 Nov (TR). Single Lapland Longspurs flew past CMHW Nov 3, 4, 7, and 8 (TR et al.). Snow Buntings have been seen along the Cape May Point beachfront in recent days (v. ob.). An Orange-crowned Warbler was at CMHW 4 Nov (TR). An influx of Vesper Sparrows 3 Nov was headlined by a total of 9 at the Magnesite Plant (SG et al.). Single Grasshopper Sparrows were discovered at CMPSP (MC, MeC) and Cape Island Creek Preserve (DG, TJ) 3 Nov. Multiple Seaside, Saltmarsh, and Nelson's Sparrows were observed at Nummy Island during high tide 7 Nov (AH). Two Red Crossbills flew over CMHW 4 Nov (TR). Very small numbers of Purple Finch and Pine Siskin were recorded throughout the period (v. ob.).

Grasshopper Sparrow at CMPSP, 3 Nov. [Photo by Mike Crewe]

Calvin Brennan, Megan Crewe (MeC), Mike Crewe, Richard Crossley, Sam Galick, Doug Gochfeld, Alec Humann, Tom Johnson, Karl Lukens, Ann Marie Morrison, Beth Polvino, Tom Reed, Clay Sutton, Harvey Tomlinson.