Saturday, October 26, 2013

Swainson's Hawk and Other Cape May Happenings

 [Dark juvenile Swainson's Hawk at the Cape May Hawkwatch today. Full disclosure: the bird had just been banded and released.]

I'm still more than a bit dubious about counting the Swainson's Hawk that was captured, banded and then brought for release to Cape May Point State Park today. I suppose you could argue, and people did argue, that if it hadn't been trapped and banded I might have seen it in a more free-flying way. I don't know, because I didn't have a choice or a chance to find out. It was a neat bird to see, anyway, with or without bling on its leg.

I am counting the two Lapland Longspurs that flew by the walk I was co-leading at the Meadows this morning, getting by before I could even open my mouth and heading towards Cape May City. Somewhere out there someone may be wondering why I didn't send out a text message to Keekeekerr about these, and the answer is I was busy leading a walk, and also that they weren't exactly chaseable, headed to parts unknown as they were.

Yet another rare bird seen today was the Eurasian Wigeon, or I should say Wigeons, since there was a male on the plover pond in the Meadows this morning and a female, nicely brown-headed, in Bunker Pond by the hawkwatch this afternoon.

Counting, schmounting. By far the best show of the day was provided by magically swirling and landing Tree Swallows, descending to feed on bayberries and then rising en masse, only to do it again and again, holding me and the whole group spellbound.

[Tree Swallows on Bayberry, this morning at the South Cape May Meadows.]

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