Monday, May 7, 2012

Widely Scattered

[I spent way too much time on this gull while it slept on the island in the main Heislerville, NJ impoundment. Perched, it looked too pale to be anything but good. . . .in flight, it looks like the worn, bedraggled, molting Herring Gull it is.]

Cape May sucks in spring.

Okay, totally not true, but if one loves warblers (and I do) and spring fallouts (who doesn't), Cape May is not where to go. Unless. . . you score that once a decade magical combination of date and weather that precipitates a Cape May fall. . . .in spring.

Which ain't happened so far this year. By bits and pieces and widely scattered places, a 20ish warbler species weekend came together, but that took a lot of miles by bicycle through the Villas (where oaks lured Chestnut-sided Warbler, American Redstart, Scarlet Tanager, Black-and-white Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Ovenbird, and others), the Cox Hall Creelk WMA (Hooded and Magnolia Warbler in the wet woods), and misc. other places like Burleigh Road, where a Canada Warbler sang this morning.

[Never would have thought I'd feature a Canada Goose here, but this female and her mate escorted a brood of 21 goslings - clearly not all their own, although whether a result of a dump nest or adoption, no one can say. Cape May County Park South tonight. Nuisance or not, one must admire these birds.]

[Many Delaware Bay Beaches are now closed to entry, to protect Red Knots and other migrant shorebirds.]

Shorebirds have begun to pile in to the region - Tom Reed and Sam Galick had a wonderful 1,000+ Whimbrel experience at Stone Harbor a couple nights ago on a super-high tide. Heislerville still barely scratches a thousand birds, but that will change this week, I suspect.

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