Cape May Autumn Birding Festival Registration is open until October 17
by Ryan Reclaim on 09/26/12
Slow but sure has been the order of the day for migrants over the last few days. Glimmers of hope lie in the hope of cold fronts and North-west winds lurking on the horizon, only to have them dashed by belts of wet weather to the north of us which grounds any migrants that might be heading our way. Predicting the occurence of good falls of birds at Higbee Beach remains a real hit and miss affair with so many variables being thrown into the equation. Today did bear quite a few signs of being a busy day for birdwatchers, but things were quieter than had been hoped. Nevertheless, there was a nice run of Blackpoll Warblers this morning and good numbers of Black-and-white Warblers, Northern Parulas and Red-eyed Vireos continue to filter through. Keep an eye out for Red-breasted Nuthatches around Cape May too as they are still moving through at the moment. Unexpected treats included a Yellow-throated Warbler on the red trail in Cape May Point State Park and a Stilt Sandpiper on Bunker Pond. A good falcon flight took place today with Peregrines giving a particularly good show over Lake Lily this morning and a steady procession of American Kestrels and Merlins passing the Hawkwatch Platform this afternoon. Parasitic Jaegers are being seen fairly frequently in The Rips now and Steve Glynn reported a Great Shearwater off St. Mary’s early morning.
The Seawatch started this weekend, so do please drop by at the north end of Avalon if you have a chance and see what’s passing offshore – daily totals will be posted on our Seasonal Research page. Vince Elia got things going well there today with an earlyCommon Eider.
Today didn’t quite perform as well it might for birds, but our six-legged friends continue to draw the crowds. Monarch migration is in full swing now and both dragonflies and butterflies continue to provide much to look at. Michael O’Brien reported four species of saddlebags at the point today (Carolina, Black, Red and Striped) while Will Kerling found a very obliging Clouded Skipper which remained in one small area on the red trail in the state park long enough for several people to catch up with this species, which seems to be rarer now in Cape May than it was a few years ago.