Friday, November 29, 2013


[Hawkcounter Tom Reed on a lonely vigil at the Cape May, NJ hawkwatch this morning.]

Tomorrow is the last day of the Cape May, NJ hawkwatch. We, the few regulars still present to lend Tom Reed some company, were joking on the platform that yep, migration stops tomorrow. Which of course it doesn't - southbound hawk flights trickle into December and even January, along with late-season landbird movements. Nary a day goes by without some bird going somewhere, but all good things must come to an end, and so tomorrow ends the official hawkwatch.

It was going out with a bang this morning, with highlights like a juvenile Golden Eagle being chased by two Bald Eagles, at least one Rough-legged Hawk, three Sandhill Cranes flying around, Purple Finches and American Pipits flying overhead, and ducks including a male Eurasian Wigeon packed into a small opening in Lighthouse Pond's ice.

The cranes will make NJ bird #308 for 2013 for me. I initially thought the Rough-legged was a year bird, too, but then remembered back to what seems like forever ago, January 27, 2013 when a Rough-legged blessed me with its presence at Ragged Island near the mouth of the Cohansey River while I was participating in the annual winter marsh raptor survey. Reaching back that far in my memory makes me think maybe a year-in-retrospective blog post is in order. We'll see. 

[Juvenile Golden Eagle over Cape May Point this morning.]

[This Eastern Phoebe, lingering at Cape May Point, lent diversity to a passerine flight dominated by robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  It's time to start thinking in terms of the coming Christmas Bird Count, as in, will this phoebe make it until then?]

[An addition to the collection of "Lighthouse Shots" for Cape May, a male Eastern Bluebird pauses and poses in front of the Cape May lighthouse this morning.]

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