Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Good Day's Birding

[I like Bufflehead - who doesn't? They're back, like these at Cape May Point State Park, NJ, Sunday November 9, 2019. Click to enlarge photos.]

It was a good day to be a Cape May birder last Sunday. Periodically I check recent visits to CM on eBird, and when I did that night, I was puzzled a bit to see I had encountered more species than any of the other birders out that day. A lot more, except my friend Tom Reed, who unsurprisingly for someone so talented came up with a pretty long list.

I don't care much about lists, but they can be an index of how the birding has been. My day list for south of the Cape May canal, a.k.a. Cape Island, is at the end of this post. How come so many?
  1. A long time in the field.
  2. A long time out of a vehicle - actually, NO time IN a vehicle.
  3. A long walk - 7 miles.
  4. Multiple habitats visited: neighborhood, meadows, freshwater wetlands, a little salt marsh, beach, dune, dune forest, scrub-shrub, upland forest, wet woods, ag areas . . .
  5. I listened. All the time. I don't know, it's what I've always done, sometimes at the expense of looking.

Proof of that last point: I missed Mourning dove, Rock Pigeon, Northern Gannet, both loons, all three scoters . . . wasn't looking, which is why I love birding with my son Tim or friend Pete. They look.

[One of three Eurasian Wigeon (2 drakes, 1 hen) on Lighthouse Pond west Sunday. I looked for these.]

Cape Island (Cape May Co. south of the Cape May canal), Cape May, New Jersey, US
Nov 9, 2019 7:43 AM - 2:23 PM
Protocol: Traveling
7.0 mile(s)
74 species
Snow Goose  1
Canada Goose  274
Mute Swan  72
Tundra Swan  2
Northern Shoveler  12
Gadwall  128
Eurasian Wigeon  3     Continuing, two drakes one hen.
American Wigeon  100
Mallard  95
American Black Duck  3
Northern Pintail  30
Green-winged Teal  56
Ring-necked Duck  2
Bufflehead  10
Hooded Merganser  12
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Virginia Rail  1
American Coot  26
Piping Plover  0     Late. Calling at Meadows. Was someone playing a tape?
Killdeer  1
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull  1
Lesser Black-backed Gull  9
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Black Skimmer  7
Double-crested Cormorant  50
Great Blue Heron  2
Turkey Vulture  56
Osprey  1
Northern Harrier  2
Sharp-shinned Hawk  3
Cooper's Hawk  3
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  5
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Northern Flicker  3
Merlin  1
Blue Jay  4
American Crow  8
Carolina Chickadee  4
Tree Swallow  14
Golden-crowned Kinglet  5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Brown Creeper  1     Beanery
Winter Wren  1     Beanery wet woods near horseshoe pond.
Carolina Wren  12
European Starling  6
Gray Catbird  2
Brown Thrasher  1
Northern Mockingbird  5
Eastern Bluebird  9
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  170
House Sparrow  30
American Pipit  1
House Finch  6
American Goldfinch  6
Chipping Sparrow  1
Field Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  4
White-throated Sparrow  55
Vesper Sparrow  1
Savannah Sparrow  9
Song Sparrow  35
Swamp Sparrow  45
Eastern Towhee  2
Red-winged Blackbird  110
Rusty Blackbird  2     West Cape May.
Common Grackle  10
Orange-crowned Warbler  1     Along bunker pond and again from Hawkwatch platform, could’ve been two different birds.
Nashville Warbler  1
Palm Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  190
Black-throated Green Warbler  1     Probably continuing, this time from Hawkwatch platform, scene by several others.
Northern Cardinal  2
View this checklist online at

No comments:

Post a Comment