Sunday, April 27, 2014

Three Weeks

 [Green Heron flies over Cape May Point, NJ this morning, an arriving bird seen from one of the dune crossovers. Click to enlarge photos.]

Yeah, so, it's been three weeks since I last blogged and I hope people are still checking this site now and then.  I didn't die or anything, it just feels that way a little bit when you can't be out doing what you love, meaning birding and naturalizing and even just soaking up the spring sunshine.

It's all about to bust open, too.  We spent the first part of the morning watching birds arrive in Cape May from Delaware, looking south from the dunes as egrets crossed the bay and swallows swept past.  A jaeger or two hunted in the rips, some fancy looking Bonaparte's gulls passed, gannets offshore, &c.  Then we poked around Cape May Point State Park, where a Prairie Warbler sang and the yellow-rumpeds thronged with Palm Warblers and looked especially sharp in their breeding plumage. 

I feel as though I ought to have some conclusive remarks about a three week absence from the field.  A lot changes in three weeks in April.  That's about as conclusive as I've got right now, that and a commitment not to miss three weeks in spring anymore. . .

[Flock of Short-billed Dowitchers fresh from Delaware, Cape May Point today.]

[Fancy Yellow-rumped Warbler in breeding plumage, Cape May Point State Park today.]

Sunday, April 6, 2014


 [Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Cape May Point, NJ, April 6, 2014.  Originally found by Rob and Lisa Fanning a couple weeks ago, this was a rare NJ lifer for me.]

"Well, I finally got the damn sparrow," I told Mike Crewe and Glen Davis, meaning no disrespect to the Eurasian Tree Sparrow that seems to have found its way to Cape May Point under its own power and was discovered there a couple weeks ago by Rob and Lisa Fanning.  Everyone's been seeing it, everyone but me it seems like, but only because I hadn't taken the time to look.  Today I did look, and got lucky.  Very lucky, because I have no patience when it comes to staked out feeder birds, and lo and behold I walked up and the bird was at the feeder for me to see and photograph. Tick. It seems to me this bird will likely be accepted as a "natural" vagrant from the St. Louis population by the NJRBC; see Mike Crewe's excellent discussion of the bird here.

The Pine Warbler photo below was also a bit of luck, in that I set up to photograph it as it fed on a Cape May Point lawn, and lo and behold once again, the bird fed its way toward me, eventually giving me full-frame photo ops.  I'll take it.
[Pine Warbler, Cape May Point, NJ this morning.]