Friday, November 5, 2010

Cape May, Part 2

I guess I really have to write about my second day in Cape May, even if it was practically a month ago. Waiting weeks to write a post is lazy, but never writing it is worse. 

Even though the weather was not a good for migration as the previous night, I still had high expectations for Sunday, if only because I would be able to actually do some birding in the morning, instead of midday to evening. First stop was the dike at Higbee, for the morning flight. Because of the wind direction, there were not too many birds in the morning flight, but I still saw Yellow-rumped, Blackpoll,  and Black-throated Blue Warblers, and a few Parulas. Birding Higbee afterwards was fairly quiet, but there were still plenty of raptors overhead, including an eagle, a few harriers, and tons of Accipiters. Swamp Sparrows made of the majority of songbirds, with one Lincoln's Sparrow as well.

I left Higbee and biked south to the Cape May Meadows, a marsh and wetland birding hotspot on the bay. By this time, storm clouds were quickly rolling in and rain seemed imminant. However, it stayed clear long enough for me to see some more Sharpies, a group of 20 migrating Great Blue Herons overhead, and a few Northern Pintail, which were my first of the year.

A stop at the hawkwatch was cut short by the rain, but I still saw all of the expected raptors, including a peregrine, and more migrating herons.

The final stop was to the CMBO Center, where I bought a CMBO Cape May Warbler hat, walked out of the store, and immediately saw a real Cape May Warbler. Along with a few Blackpoll Warblers, it was an excellent end to a great trip. Or so I thought.

It turned out that that was not the end of the birding. We ate lunch on the water, and I decided to walk on the beach (in the rain) to try to relocate a Royal Tern I had seen driving there. That turned out to be a very good move. I was soaked, but saw Royal and Forster's Terns, Black Scoter, and, best of all, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, all of which were nice birds and good additions to the trip list.

Royal Terns:

Lesser Black-backed Gull:

The final birds of the trip, however, were a huge flock of Black Skimmers loafing on the beach in the main part of town. Skimmers are great birds, with their striking black-and-white coloration and clownish bill, so it was great to see so many of them in one flock. There were at least 300, probably more.

From the front, Skimmers look like cartoon penguins:

95 Species, 1 Lifer, lots of cool birds- a very successful trip!


  1. Great pictures of the skimmers their bills are so thin, your blog has such great pictures, and come to think of it they do look like penguins

  2. Thanks. Glad you like the blog.