Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Bird Show hits Cape May

One of the hardest things I have to do at this time of year is pace myself when writing blog posts - just when you feel like telling the world that migration just hit the top shelf, it steps up to another level!!

It might sound like another case of crying wolf, just trying to get people to Cape May under false pretexts but, well, if you were here, you would be able to confirm it... Yesterday morning, as I estimated some 400 Blue Jays wheeling around the lighthouse, a sheet of Yellow-rumped Warblers planed in off the bay and Golden-crowned Kinglets skipped through the dune bushes in search of cover, it seemed that fall migration had peaked. And in many ways it had but, like a mountain chain, a fall at Cape May can have many peaks and sometimes they come daily. The peaks happen first thing in the morning, the troughs (when you get a brief opportunity to eat!) happen in the afternoons.

Yesterday's mass wave of birds was spectacular, today's was just as fabulous. When I left the Hawkwatch Platform a short moment ago, the Killdeer count had passed the 500 mark for the day; Wilson's Snipe were also moving and, despite blustery and damp conditions, Pete Dunne's hawk workshop group were getting spectacular views of passing Merlins, American Kestrels and Northern Harriers. Right in front of the platform, the feeding sparrow flock included Savannah, Field, Song, Swamp, White-throated and White-crowned - as well as the obligatory House Sparrows.

The wave of herons and egrets that washed over the point first thing seems to have settled for the day - which means there are American Bitterns out there to be found among the cat-tails. We are heading into a spectacular weekend folks - hope you are going to be part of it!!

These visions of yesterday were kindly supplied by Lambert Orkis, who caught just a tiny fragment of the Tree Swallow flock that was wheeling around the bayberry bushes in the dunes, plus wonderful images of two of the young Bald Eagles that battled for air space right over Bunker Pond.

No comments: