Sunday, September 25, 2016


Among close to 700 warblers that migrated in re-directed flight north along Delaware Bay, Cape May, NJ in the first hour after sunrise this morning were hundreds of Northern Parulas. Not much biomass, but a lot of bravery.

Next up: flicker-palooza.. . as in 600+ on the same track.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

One of These is Not Like the Other

Above, a very typical scene in Cape May, NJ. The eagles "wait on" (a falconer's term) way up high until an Osprey comes in off the bay or ocean with a fish, in this case a bunker. Very professional thieves.

In other news, the accursed east winds still blow. If any big September thing (i.e. warbler flight) is going to happen, it could happen next Wednesday with the passage of a dawdling, shifting, elusive, weak scumbag of a front.

Sense frustration?

However, I will tell you this: if you like kettles of Broad-winged Hawks (and who doesn't), don't come to Cape May. Pick a northern NJ, PA, or NY lookout and go there, possibly Tuesday (my plan, Scott's Mountain) and Wednesday (not my plan, because, well, Cape May.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Nature Red. . .

[Juvenile Cooper's Hawk with Red-winged Blackbird, Del Haven, NJ, September 7, 2016. Click to enlarge.]

Monday, September 12, 2016

Another September Morning In Cape May

[In fall, most Black-throated Green Warblers don't show all this black on the throat, so a better mark to look for is that bright yellow face. Along the Delaware Bayshore in morning flight today, with a couple hundred other warblers.]

As I tweeted yesterday, we finally received the grace and blessings of another cold front yesterday evening, and even though the wind switched to NE in the wee morning hours, warblers and other migrants were abundant this morning. As we piece together the elements that predict a big Cape May, NJ flight, it becomes more and more clear (at least to me) that winds with a west component lasting until past dawn are very key. Didn't happen today, but when I bumped into Richard Crossley this morning at Higbee he told me they had ~ 1000 migrants at the Higbee dike by that point, around 9:15 a.m. By the time my party got to Higbee, the party was pretty much over, but we did find a Yellow-bellied flycatcher along the center path about midway between the two towers.

["The radar's blowing up!" A sardonic response would be that, well, yeah, birds fly south in fall. Will they be at your favorite hotspot tomorrow morning in quantity? Depends on many things.]

Prediction for next good landbird flight: Thursday. Other than that, things look pretty grim for migrants here for the next while. . .

[Merlin spots an American Redstart in morning flight along the Delaware Bay this morning. Trouble. Click to enlarge all photos.]

This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping with the Delaware Nature Society's bioblitz at Middle Run. The birding was excellent Saturday morning, featuring 18 species of warblers, and unlike the birding I do in Cape May, these were in trees, not flying by. . .

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday: Stealing

[Immature Bald Eagle pursues Osprey with fish, Norbury's Landing, NJ, Sep 2, 2016.]

"Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll steal your fish."

[I'm not sure where I first heard this. It was used in reference to intellectual property. . .]