Saturday, April 11, 2015

Week in review: 4 – 10 April, 2015

CMBO is pleased to provide weekly summaries of the Cape's birding highlights. Coverage is limited to bird sightings in Cape May County. Readers should keep in mind that some reports may not be confirmed. The vast majority of information utilized in these reports comes from eBird data and "Keekeekerr" text alerts. Observers are also encouraged to send reports and photos to compiler Tom Reed (coturnicops at gmail dot com).

Location Abbreviations/Explanations: BSF (Belleplain State Forest), CMP (town of Cape May Point); CMPSP (Cape May Point State Park); Rea Farm ("The Beanery," West Cape May); WMA (Wildlife Management Area). 


       Snow Geese have essentially cleared out of the peninsula; the period's only report was of a single at the Rea Farm 4 Apr (fide eBird). Two Tundra Swans remained at CMPSP until at least 7 Apr, a relatively late date (m. ob.). Daily migration monitoring at CMP continued to produce increasing numbers of Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, Red-throated Loon, Northern Gannet, and Double-crested Cormorant (m. ob.).
Recent high counts included 482 Double-crested Cormorants 5 Apr, 289 Red-throated Loons 6 Apr, and 1,309 Northern Gannets 7 Apr (TR et al.). The first Green Herons arrived this week, with sightings at Cox Hall Creek WMA 5 Apr (DF) and CMP 9 Apr (CB, MP, TR). The first Cattle Egret was detected at West Cape May 10 Apr (DC, MP, m. ob.). Both Tricolored and Little Blue Herons were reported in the vicinity of the Wetlands Institute/Stone Harbor Boulevard through the period (m. ob.). Northbound Osprey were again noted most days (m. ob.), and the immature Northern Goshawk put in another split-second appearance at West Cape May 8 Apr (LZ).

[Osprey at CMP, 6 Apr. Photo by Tom Reed.]

        Rare at any season, a Sandhill Crane surprised birders at Cape Island 4–5 Apr (m. ob.). The species has now occurred during April in five of six years, starting with 2010 (fide eBird). It has been a poor spring to find Little Gull locally; an immature flew north past CMP 5 Apr (DLP, TR). Black-headed Gull apparently went unseen this week. There were also no reports of CMP's Eurasian Collared-Dove. Songbird migration suffered from a lack of favorable conditions, though some minor movements took place (e.g. 20+ Pine Warblers at CMP, 4 Apr). The week's list of arrivals included Chimney Swift at the Rea Farm 7 Apr (BB), Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cape May Court House 6 Apr (DA, JA), Eastern Kingbird at CMP 10 Apr (MC, TR), Blue-headed Vireo at BSF 10 Apr (TR), Black-and-white Warbler at BSF 7 Apr (KH), and Northern Parula at CMP 6 Apr (MP). Notably early was an American Redstart singing at the South Cape May Meadows 10 Apr (SW). 

[Sandhill Crane over the Rea Farm, 5 Apr. Photo by Tom Reed.]



Dolores Amesbury (DA), Jesse Amesbury (JA), Barb Bassett (BB), Catherine Busch (CB), Dan Ceravolo (DC), Mike Crewe (MC), Don Freiday (DF), Kathy Horn (KH), David La Puma (DLP), Mike Pasquarello (MP), Tom Reed (TR), Scott Whittle (SW), Louise Zemaitis (LZ).


eBird. 2012. eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: (Accessed: 10 April 2015).

Fogg, B. 2013. Keekeekerr: Recent Text Alerts. Available: (Accessed: 10 April 2015).

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