Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, January 16th, 2016

The weather was foggy over the ocean and feeders were not being used. So we decided to go walk Cape May Point State Park. Looking out over Bunker pond we had a single Snow Goose sleeping amongst the Canada geese. The number of Gadwall had increased since last weekend. It was quite impressive. Also a lone male Red-breasted Merganser was diving about. Seemed an odd place for him. Usually they are seen in the back bay areas. Lastly, there was another single duck on "Al's Pond" in the back, along the blue/yellow trail--a female Blue-winged Teal. She stood out amongst the American Wigeon, Mallards and Northern Shovelers as the smallest duck on the pond. Leaders: Roger Horn and Karl Lukens.
41 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose  1
Canada Goose  175
Mute Swan  12
Tundra Swan  1
Gadwall  150
American Wigeon  12
American Black Duck  20
Mallard  125
Blue-winged Teal  1
Northern Shoveler  30
Northern Pintail  3
Ring-necked Duck  9
Lesser Scaup  3
Surf Scoter  2
Surf/Black Scoter  7
Bufflehead  6
Hooded Merganser  12
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  4
Turkey Vulture  1
Northern Harrier  1
American Coot  30
Bonaparte's Gull  1
Ring-billed Gull  3
Herring Gull (American)  6
Great Black-backed Gull  17
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  12
Mourning Dove  50
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
American Crow  4
Carolina Wren  6
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  60
Northern Mockingbird  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  16
Song Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  5
Common Grackle  2
Purple Finch  6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, January 9th, 2016

The weather was mild in the high 40's. Lily Lake sported some Ring-necked Ducks, Double-crested Cormorant, and Great Blue Heron. The local texting bird alert told us there were two American White Pelicans and an American Bittern on the second plover pond at the State Park. These are unusual birds this time of year so we headed over and found them with a Tundra Swan. Leaders: Roger Horn and Karl Lukens.
42 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  12
Mute Swan  2
Tundra Swan  1
Gadwall  17
American Wigeon  40
Mallard  18
Northern Shoveler  10
Ring-necked Duck  16
Surf Scoter  1
White-winged Scoter  1
Black Scoter  14
Surf/Black Scoter  4
Bufflehead  6
Hooded Merganser  8
Double-crested Cormorant  1
American Bittern  1
Great Blue Heron  5
Northern Harrier  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull (American)  1
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Mourning Dove  9
Merlin  1
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  4
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  4
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  36
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  20
Cedar Waxwing  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  30
White-throated Sparrow  7
Song Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  5
Red-winged Blackbird  60
Common Grackle  75
House Finch  20
House Sparrow  20

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

White Pelicans [Photo by Karl Lukens] 
Tundra Swan [Photo by Karl Lukens]
American Bittern [Photo by Roger Horn]

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

Day 2 of 2016. Starting off the new year adding to our freshly started 2016 species list. It was a beautiful, sunny, cold day with low wind. The ducks were in their usual finery at Lake Lily, Lighthouse and Bunker ponds. Along the dunes, Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Herring Gull were side by side.  The jetty at St. Mary's afforded some nice looks at Ruddy Turnstones feeding. Its diet when breeding is predominantly insects, but this time of year their foods are extremely diverse, ranging from coastal invertebrates to small fish, carrion, and human garbage.  Leaders: Roger Horn and Karl Lukens.
41 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose  35
Mute Swan  5
Gadwall  14
American Wigeon  18
Mallard  45
Northern Shoveler  50
Green-winged Teal (American)  2
Ring-necked Duck  12
Lesser Scaup  2
Greater/Lesser Scaup  1
White-winged Scoter  1
Surf/Black Scoter  3
Bufflehead  2
Hooded Merganser  8
Red-throated Loon  1
Common Loon  1
Northern Gannet  9
Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  5
American Coot  20
Ruddy Turnstone  3
Ring-billed Gull  12
Herring Gull (American)  18
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  6
Mourning Dove  10
Northern Flicker(Yellow-shafted) 5
Blue Jay  1
Carolina Chickadee  9
Carolina Wren  5
American Robin  80
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  12
Cedar Waxwing  16
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)40
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  3
White-throated Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  7
Red-winged Blackbird  2
House Finch  12
American Goldfinch  4
House Sparrow  15

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Bufflehead [Photo by Roger Horn]

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, December 19th, 2015

It was a cold morning with little crystals of ice along Lake Lily's edge. We did see 41 species of birds, with the huge flock of European Starlings creating a murmuration. Two Bald Eagles, one adult, one first year, came around flying low. The ducks raised into the air scattering in all directions. Eventually the adult Eagle landed atop a telephone pole and surveyed the area. Leaders: Roger Horn, Karl Lukens, Steve Weis, and Mary Watkins.
41 species

Canada Goose  32
Mute Swan  9
Gadwall  36
American Wigeon  24
Mallard  30
Northern Shoveler  18
Northern Pintail  14
Green-winged Teal (American)  12
Ring-necked Duck  20
Greater Scaup  1
Surf Scoter  1
Long-tailed Duck  1
Bufflehead  2
Hooded Merganser  10
Northern Gannet  9
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  2
Turkey Vulture  4
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  2
American Coot  14
Ring-billed Gull  12
Herring Gull (American)  7
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  5
Mourning Dove  6
American Crow  4
Carolina Chickadee  1
Carolina Wren  4
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  38
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  907
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  22
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  7
White-throated Sparrow  6
Song Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  3
Common Grackle (Purple)  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  20
House Sparrow  8

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Bald Eagle [Photo by Karl Lukens]

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, December 12th, 2015

It is definitely December, even though it was 60 degrees at 10 am. We had 14 species of ducks, which is to be expected in December. It is a time when they are gathering and looking quite spiffy in their winter plumage.  They can be seen feeding and preening, on the freshwater ponds and the ocean waters. Leaders: Roger Horn, Karl Lukens, and Steve Weis.
47 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  16
Mute Swan  5
Gadwall  32
Eurasian Wigeon  1
American Wigeon  21
Mallard  45
Northern Shoveler  8
Northern Pintail  18
Green-winged Teal (American)  27
Redhead  2
Ring-necked Duck  24
Surf Scoter  12
White-winged Scoter  2
Black Scoter  39
Long-tailed Duck  1
Bufflehead  1
Northern Gannet  1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  2
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull (American)  9
Lesser Black-backed Gull  1
Great Black-backed Gull  16
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  10
Mourning Dove  16
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  0
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)1
Blue Jay  3
Carolina Chickadee  4
Tufted Titmouse  1
Carolina Wren  5
Golden-crowned Kinglet  3
American Robin  200
Northern Mockingbird  5
European Starling  20
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)14
Fox Sparrow (Red)  4
White-throated Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  6
Northern Cardinal  9
Red-winged Blackbird  5
Common Grackle  5
Common Grackle (Purple)  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Baltimore Oriole  1
House Finch  25
House Sparrow  7

These reports were generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Eurasian Wigeon (top left) [Photo by Roger Horn]

Baltimore Oriole [Photo by Roger Horn]

Harlequin Romance - Saturday, December 5th, 2015

Saturday's trip to Barnegat Light proved to be spectacular. CMBO Program Director, Mike Crewe, was joined by a wonderful group of participants and assistants. The weather was stunning, the birds were cooperative, and the people were joyful. We were greeted by some Boat-tailed Grackles and House Finches right in the parking lot. The walk out the jetty gave us close looks (and by close I mean right next to us) at Ruddy Turnstones, lots of Dunlin, and a handful of Purple Sandpipers. The seabird movement was impressive with large flocks of Black Scoters and Northern Gannets plunge diving right off-shore. We had two Black-legged Kittiwakes (a lifer for a lot of people on the trip) feeding in and out of the inlet! The immature Kittiwake gave us incredible looks, with it's double collar and black 'M' on it's wings. 
A close flock of Black Scoters as they flew over the jetty at Barnegat Light. Just one of a handful of seabird species that were spotted moving past the island in good numbers. [Photo by Sam Wilson.]

An immature Black-legged Kittiwake. One of two individuals that was spotted working it's way back and forth feeding across the opening of the inlet. This was a life bird for quite a few people on the trip. [Photo by Sam Wilson.]

It was while we were out on the end of the jetty that we got our first flyby Harlequin Duck, quickly followed by another pair! A small flock of Harlequin Ducks was spotted near the small jetty southwest of the main jetty. A quick walk down the beach put us in a prime location to sort through the mixed waterbird flock. The bulk of the birds were Common Eiders and Black Scoters, but a handful of Long-tailed Ducks, Surf Scoters, and Harlequin Ducks were picked out. A resting White-winged Scoter completed our Scoter trifecta! A Common Loon was feeding alongside a couple Red-throated Loons which allowed us a great side-by-side comparison.

A male Harlequin Duck gave us incredible looks as it flew past the north side of the jetty. These plumage of these ducks can be hard to believe, and pictures don't do them justice! Being the main target species of this trip, participants were thrilled with the views we got. [Photo by Sam Wilson.]

After a sunny, picnic lunch, the group traveled down to 25th Street & Bayview Avenue to check out the bayshore. Over a 1,000 Brant were feeding on Eel Grass in the harbor, with some being quite close. A male Northern Pintail, in all his courtship plumage glory, was also a nice treat. 

Another quick jaunt down the island to Harvey Cedars Recreation Area provided a handful of Red-breasted Mergansers, a smattering of Mallards and Black Ducks, and a distant Northern Harrier hunting over the marsh. A couple Common Goldeneyes were picked out amongst a group of Buffleheads and a single Greater Scaup. Two distant Peregrine Falcons were spotted resting on an Osprey nesting platform and a Northern Flicker came to land on a nearby tree.


A mixed waterbird flock in the bay. Species include Buffleheads, a few Red-breasted Mergansers (including the bird in flight), and Common Goldeneyes. [Photo by Sam WIlson.]

Overall it was a delightful day full of sunshine and a total of 44 species of bird. Leaders: Mike Crewe, Megan Crewe, Catherine Busch, Chris Marks, Margeaux Maerz, Sam Wilson, Mary Watkins, and Joe Demko.



Barnegat Lighthouse State Park:
34 species

Brant (Atlantic)  50
Canada Goose  9
American Black Duck  2
Common Eider  12
Harlequin Duck  10 
Surf Scoter  12
White-winged Scoter  1
Black Scoter  450
Long-tailed Duck  18
Bufflehead  1
Red-throated Loon  18
Common Loon  2
Northern Gannet  X  
Double-crested Cormorant  4
Northern Harrier  1
Ruddy Turnstone  8
Sanderling  X
Dunlin  X 
Purple Sandpiper  9
Black-legged Kittiwake  2  (1 adult and 1 first cycle - both seen in and out of inlet)
Laughing Gull  2
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull (American)  X
Great Black-backed Gull  X
American Crow  5
Carolina Wren  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  3
White-throated Sparrow  3
Northern Cardinal  3
Boat-tailed Grackle  12
House Finch  6
House Sparrow  X



High Bar Harbor/Harvey Cedars:
20 species

Brant (Atlantic)  1500
Canada Goose  150
American Black Duck  25
Mallard  20
Northern Pintail  7
Greater Scaup  1
Bufflehead  X
Common Goldeneye  15
Red-breasted Merganser  35
Common Loon  2
Great Blue Heron  1
Northern Harrier  1
Herring Gull (American)  X
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  8
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  2
Peregrine Falcon  2
American Crow  6
Song Sparrow  2
House Sparrow  X

These reports were generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, December 5th, 2015

A crisp morning with no wind and sunny. There were large numbers of American Robins flying overhead. Yellow-rumped Warblers were actively flitting through the cedars at Northwood Center. As we walked towards the State Park, Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows chipped at us along the edges of Lily Lake. On Lighthouse Pond we were treated to a male Eurasian Wigeon and two male Redheads. Karl described their heads as "glowing in the sun." Scott Whittle alerted us to a couple of Common Eider near the jetty at St. Peters dune crossing. When we got there two juvenal White-winged Scoters had joined them. As we returned back towards the Northwood Center, a Red-breasted Nuthatch was picking through a tree covered with lichen. He was "liken the lichen".... Leaders: Roger Horn and Karl Lukens.
54 species

Canada Goose  6
Mute Swan  9
Gadwall  32
Eurasian Wigeon  1
American Wigeon  28
Mallard  40
Blue-winged Teal  1
Northern Shoveler  8
Northern Pintail  12
Green-winged Teal (American)  10
Redhead  3
Ring-necked Duck  6
Common Eider  2
Surf Scoter  9
White-winged Scoter  2
Black Scoter  90
Bufflehead  1
Red-throated Loon  5
Northern Gannet  1
Double-crested Cormorant  5
Great Blue Heron  2
Black Vulture  20
Turkey Vulture  15
Northern Harrier  2
Bald Eagle  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  2
Ring-billed Gull  30
Herring Gull (American)  40
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Mourning Dove  9
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  5
American Crow  3
Carolina Chickadee  5
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Eastern Bluebird  2
American Robin  200
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  15
Cedar Waxwing  7
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  30
White-throated Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Common Grackle (Purple)  1
House Finch  7
American Goldfinch  3
House Sparrow  8

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)