Monday, October 8, 2012
A Feeling of November, and Finding Birds that Cooperate
With temperatures staying in the 50's, and flocks of Pine Siskins and occasional Purple Finches in the air, it felt later in fall than it is today. A couple other late season migrants added to that feeling, those being my first Winter Wren and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers of the Cape May fall, both at the Beanery.
After joining a gathering of friends at Coral Avenue to watch Tree Swallows swirling over the dunes and Parasitic Jaegers harass the Forster's Terns and Laughing Gulls in the rips, a passing Eastern Meadowlark reminded me for some reason that I hadn't been to the Beanery in a while - probably because the Beanery is a good place to see meadowlarks.
It's also a good place to just creep about slowly, getting close to birds and watching them do what they do with generally less interference from other birders, a consideration on a holiday weekend in Cape May. I love birding with other people, but it has it limits, especially when you're trying to get pictures. Birders often complain about photographers scaring birds, and with good reason sometimes, but birders can be good at scaring birds, too.
A few warblers lingered at the Beanery, and I was in the right place at the right time for a distant look at the Swainson's Hawk that started at the hawkwatch and in a few minutes found its way up past Cameron at the Higbee dike and apparently "left the building," or at least the island, Cape Island that is. A persistently calling Gray-cheeked Thrush even let me have a brief look at it, though not a photo. Without trying particularly to run up a list I found 68 species in an hour and a half, pretty fun and a sign of a good day of migration. Even if it felt like November.
Posted by Don Freiday at 2:35 PM