Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, December 13th, 2014

The Osprey that showed up about a week ago is still hanging around Lighthouse Pond. It’s been several weeks since most of our Osprey left, heading for points much further south - like México and South America, for instance. But all the ponds are still open so there’s still easy access to Osprey food.  The real highlight of the morning though was the four Red-shouldered Hawks that wheeled overhead, showing off their bright chests, pale primary crescents and broad white tailbands.   Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn, and Steve Weis.
51 species

Snow Goose  23
Mute Swan  3
Gadwall  8
Mallard  12
Ring-necked Duck  1
Common Eider  1
Surf Scoter  8
Black Scoter  25
Bufflehead  4
Ruddy Duck  10
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Northern Gannet  2
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Black Vulture  4
Turkey Vulture  14
Osprey  1
Cooper's Hawk  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  4
American Coot  15
Killdeer  1
Ring-billed Gull  4
Herring Gull (American)  5
Mourning Dove  6
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  4
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  6
Tree Swallow  3
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  4
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  40
Northern Mockingbird  4
European Starling  50
Cedar Waxwing  6
Fox Sparrow (Red)  4
Song Sparrow  4
White-throated Sparrow  16
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  15
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  200
Common Grackle  100
Brown-headed Cowbird  60
House Finch  6
Purple Finch  1
American Goldfinch  120
House Sparrow  25

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Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Feeders, dunes, the bay and Lily Lake provide great potential variety for winter birding. Today's walk at the Point was the first of the season and the first to start (and end) at CMBO’s Northwood Center, having always launched previously from the State Park. A very late Osprey, first seen earlier in the week, was still present over Bunker Pond and there is a good variety of ducks on the pond. Two of this year’s irruptive species, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Purple Finch, were hanging out around feeders. We also had three Yellow-bellied Sapsucker one of which kept giving it's soft, nasal call. Leaders: Kathy and Roger Horn.
52 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  15
Gadwall  20
American Wigeon  28
Mallard  36
Northern Shoveler  11
Ring-necked Duck  6
Surf Scoter  5
Black Scoter  10
Surf/Black Scoter  10
Bufflehead  6
Hooded Merganser  4
Ruddy Duck  20
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Turkey Vulture  3
Osprey 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  1
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull (American)  6
Great Black-backed Gull  4
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  7
Mourning Dove  7
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  3
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  2
Blue Jay  4
American Crow  3
Tree Swallow  3
Carolina Chickadee  4
Tufted Titmouse  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  4
Golden-crowned Kinglet  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
American Robin  28
Brown Thrasher  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  20
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  1
Fox Sparrow (Red)  2
Song Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  7
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  6
Northern Cardinal  6
Red-winged Blackbird  23
House Finch  2
Purple Finch  4
American Goldfinch  11
House Sparrow  1

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Walking off the Turkey - Friday, November 28th, 2014

A chilly wind blew us around the South Cape May Meadows, but a warm glow provided by some good birding won out on the day. Ducks dominated the ponds, amongst their number we found busy Hooded Mergansers, an eventually showy male Redhead and a rather funky-looking Black Duck x Mallard hybrid. At least two Bald Eagles were intent of having duck for breakfast and kept the birds on the move. American Goldfinches, Eastern Bluebirds and American Pipits were moving west along the dune line, while we had exceptionally good views of one of the pipits as it wandered through the dune vegetation and fed within just a few yards of us at times.  Leaders: Mike Crewe, Kathy & Roger Horn, Mary Watkins, and Chris Marks.
54 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose  20
Canada Goose  185
Mute Swan  6
Gadwall  120
American Wigeon  20
American Black Duck  5
Mallard  100
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)  1
Northern Shoveler  12
Northern Pintail  6
Green-winged Teal  30
Redhead  3
Surf Scoter  6
Black Scoter  200
Bufflehead  8
Hooded Merganser  6
Ruddy Duck  10
Pied-billed Grebe  2
Double-crested Cormorant  2
Great Blue Heron  3
Great Egret  1
Black Vulture  14
Turkey Vulture  33
Northern Harrier  3
Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  3
American Coot  22
Wilson's Snipe  1
Ring-billed Gull  10
Herring Gull  10
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  4
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
American Crow  2
Tree Swallow  2
Carolina Wren  1
Eastern Bluebird  25
American Robin  100
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  2
American Pipit  6
Palm Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  2
Savannah Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  2
Swamp Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  1
Red-winged Blackbird  150
Eastern Meadowlark  2
Common Grackle  2400
American Goldfinch  80
House Sparrow  1

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American Pipit [Photo by Mary Watkins]

Birding the Meadows with Pete Dunne - Monday, November 24th, 2014

A mild, foggy morning for our last walk of the year. Visibility was limited from the beach but we did have Surf and Black Scoters and a variety of gulls. Ducks were abundant including Mallard, Black, Red-headed, Bufflehead, Ruddy, Hooded Merganser, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, and Green-winged Teal. Some walkers had a brief glimpse of an American Bittern and we all had a good look at a Wilson's Snipe. Raptors included Northern Harrier, Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks. Leaders: Pete Dunne, Chuck Slugg, Janet Crawford, Steve Weis, Catherine Busch, and Mary Watkins.
46 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  40
Mute Swan  4
Gadwall  125
American Wigeon  2
American Black Duck  2
Mallard  56
Blue-winged Teal  2
Northern Shoveler  9
Northern Pintail  8
Green-winged Teal  25
Redhead  4
Ring-necked Duck  6
Surf Scoter  3
Black Scoter  2
scoter sp.  75
Bufflehead  6
Hooded Merganser  4
Ruddy Duck  20
Pied-billed Grebe  3
Double-crested Cormorant  3
American Bittern  1
Great Blue Heron  4
Northern Harrier  3
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Cooper's Hawk  2
Virginia Rail  1     heard
American Coot  2
Lesser Yellowlegs  1
Wilson's Snipe  1
Bonaparte's Gull  1
Ring-billed Gull  8
Herring Gull  14
Great Black-backed Gull  80
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  2
Mourning Dove  3
Blue Jay  1
Tree Swallow  45
American Robin  8
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  4
Savannah Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  1
Common Grackle  1
American Goldfinch  15     heard
House Sparrow  4

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Fall Migrants at the Rea Farm - Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

No question, the bird-of-the-day was the Western Tanager, a real beauty in the clear morning sun. No less handsome, though, were the Baltimore Orioles it was keeping company with, all feeding on porcelain berries. Local expert birder, Sam Galick, had found the tanager yesterday and it could easily have been overlooked among all the orioles. But the thicker bill, orange and less pointed, was distinctive as was the clearly yellow, not orange, of the undertail coverts. Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn.
44 species

Snow Goose  20
Canada Goose  60
Mallard  18
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  3
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Killdeer  12
Herring Gull (American)  6
Mourning Dove  10
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  2
Merlin  1
Blue Jay  6
American Crow  14
Carolina Chickadee  1
Tufted Titmouse  1
Carolina Wren  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Eastern Bluebird  6
Hermit Thrush  2
American Robin  95
Gray Catbird  1
Brown Thrasher  2
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  150
Cedar Waxwing  450
Eastern Towhee  2
Field Sparrow  5
Vesper Sparrow  1
Fox Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  6
Swamp Sparrow  6
White-throated Sparrow  6
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  75
Western Tanager  1    
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  60
Common Grackle  150
Baltimore Oriole  6    
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  15
House Sparrow  1

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Birding the Meadows with Pete Dunne - Monday, November 17th, 2014

The birds did not mind the chilly, dark, drizzly morning in The Meadows. Highlights of the walk include the usual ducks plus Hooded Merganser, Bufflehead, Ring-necked Duck and a large number of scoter moving offshore. Other birds of interest were Northern Gannets, both adult and juvenile, American Oystercatchers, Dunlin, Greater Yellowlegs, American Bittern, and Tundra Swan. Raptors included good looks at a perched Northern Harrier and a perched Red-tail and hunting Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks. Leaders: Chuck Slugg, Catherine Busch, and Deb Payson.
56 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  35
Mute Swan  8
Tundra Swan  1
Gadwall  110
American Wigeon  10
American Black Duck  2
Mallard  12
Blue-winged Teal  2
Northern Shoveler  8
Northern Pintail  10
Green-winged Teal  15
Ring-necked Duck  4
scoter sp.  105
Bufflehead  4
Hooded Merganser  4
Ruddy Duck  6
Red-throated Loon  3
Pied-billed Grebe  4
Northern Gannet  9
Double-crested Cormorant  5
American Bittern  1
Great Blue Heron  5
Snowy Egret  1
Northern Harrier  1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Cooper's Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  20
American Oystercatcher  2
Killdeer  1
Greater Yellowlegs  3     heard
Sanderling  12
Dunlin  5
Ring-billed Gull  7
Herring Gull  10
Great Black-backed Gull  35
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  2
Mourning Dove  5
Northern Flicker  4
Blue Jay  3
American Crow  4
Tree Swallow  10
Carolina Wren  2     heard only
American Robin  40
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  4
Yellow-rumped Warbler  8
Eastern Towhee  1     heard only
Savannah Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  3
Swamp Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  8
House Finch  5
American Goldfinch  10
House Sparrow  3

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (/content/nj)

Hawks, Trails, and Beach - Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Cold weather and darkness ended the Saturday afternoon walks for this season. Birds are still around including many species of ducks such as Eurasian and American Wigeon, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Ducks, Northern Pintails, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, Bufflehead, and Blue- and Green-winged Teal. We also saw an American Bittern, Tundra Swan, and Pied-billed Grebes. Other birds of interest were Northern Gannet, Parasitic Jaeger, Double-crested Cormorants, and several large groups of Scoter. Leaders: Chuck Slugg, Cindy Bamford, and Deb Payson.
49 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  40
Mute Swan  16
Tundra Swan  1
Gadwall  15
Eurasian Wigeon  2     on Bunker Pond
American Wigeon  18
American Black Duck  1
Mallard  10
Blue-winged Teal  2
Northern Shoveler  16
Northern Pintail  14
Green-winged Teal  26
Ring-necked Duck  2
scoter sp.  65
Bufflehead  2
Hooded Merganser  7
Ruddy Duck  10
Pied-billed Grebe  2
Northern Gannet  8
Double-crested Cormorant  7
American Bittern  1
Great Blue Heron  6
Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Harrier  1
Cooper's Hawk  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  22
Parasitic Jaeger  2
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull  3
Great Black-backed Gull  12
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  2
Mourning Dove  4
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  3
Tree Swallow  35
Carolina Chickadee  2
Carolina Wren  3     heard only
Golden-crowned Kinglet  7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
American Robin  16
Northern Mockingbird  1
Song Sparrow  2
Swamp Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  3
Northern Cardinal  1     heard only
Red-winged Blackbird  15
American Goldfinch  2     heard only
House Sparrow  2

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Fall Migrants at the Rea Farm - Saturday, November 15th, 2014

It takes but a moment for the birder's brain to go "large, lanky, slow-flapping grayish bird....Great Blue?...wait...no,...Sandhill Crane!" And that was the sequence for all of us looking skyward on this morning's walk at the Beanery as three cranes flew overhead. Soon the red crown became apparent, then the birds disappeared toward the State Park and reportedly continued out over the bay. Though sandhill cranes may live 35 years in the wild, they take two to eight years to sexually mature and then have low rates of reproductive success. Following a precipitous decline in the first half of the 20th century, crane populations have stabilized in most areas with appropriate management. Six of the nine subspecies are known to migrate, with birds from breeding areas in the northeastern US, Canada and the Great Lakes region using the Atlantic Flyway. Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn, and Deb Payson.
57 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose  15
Canada Goose  9
Gadwall  9
Mallard  13
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Black Vulture  5
Turkey Vulture  30
Sharp-shinned Hawk  3
Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  5
Sandhill Crane  3    
American Woodcock  1
Herring Gull (American)  2
Mourning Dove  6
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  3
American Kestrel  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Blue Jay  6
American Crow  4
Fish Crow  6
Carolina Chickadee  1
Tufted Titmouse  3
Brown Creeper  1
Winter Wren  1
Carolina Wren  5
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Eastern Bluebird  28
Hermit Thrush  2
American Robin  150
Gray Catbird  1
Brown Thrasher  2
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  300
Cedar Waxwing  4
Palm Warbler (Western)  1
Palm Warbler (Yellow)  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  1
Eastern Towhee  2
Chipping Sparrow  2
Field Sparrow  2
Vesper Sparrow  2
Savannah Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  16
Swamp Sparrow  4
White-throated Sparrow  12
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  14
Northern Cardinal  3
Red-winged Blackbird  80
Common Grackle  18
Brown-headed Cowbird  5
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  9

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Birding the Meadows with Pete Dunne - Monday, November 10th, 2014

It was a nice morning with lots of ducks to look at. They included numerous Gadwalls, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shovelers, a female type Redhead, Ruddy Ducks, and scoters off shore. Two birds of interest were a constantly calling Virginia Rail (as another flew briefly by) and a fly-by American Bittern. Leaders: Pete Dunne, Karl Lukens, Chuck Slugg, Steve Weis, Janet Crawford, and Deb Payson.
64 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  75
Mute Swan  8
Gadwall  50
American Wigeon  3
American Black Duck  5
Mallard  25
Blue-winged Teal  1
Northern Shoveler  6
Northern Pintail  8
Green-winged Teal  50
Redhead  1
Surf Scoter  50
scoter sp.  100
Bufflehead  8
Ruddy Duck  15
Red-throated Loon  2
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Northern Gannet  3
Double-crested Cormorant  8
American Bittern  1
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  1
Snowy Egret  1
Black Vulture  1
Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Harrier  1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Cooper's Hawk  2
Virginia Rail  2     saw  1 briefly, heard 1 loud and continuous
American Coot  25
Killdeer  2
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Lesser Yellowlegs  1
Bonaparte's Gull  1
Laughing Gull  1
Ring-billed Gull  6
Herring Gull  15
Great Black-backed Gull  30
Mourning Dove  40
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  8
Blue Jay  10
American Crow  1
Fish Crow  2
Tree Swallow  10
Carolina Chickadee  2
Carolina Wren  4
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Eastern Bluebird  1
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  50
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  10
Cedar Waxwing  17     seen by leader
Yellow-rumped Warbler  25
Eastern Towhee  1     heard
Song Sparrow  4
Swamp Sparrow  6
Dark-eyed Junco  1
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  30
Common Grackle  50
American Goldfinch  8
House Sparrow  5

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

Great Egret [Photo by Karl Lukens]

Cox Hall Creek WMA - Sunday, November 9th, 2014

If you were out birding anytime this weekend, you probably saw evidence of thrush migration - robins, hermit thrushes, bluebirds. Thousands of these migrated overhead with many putting down to feed. While not as plentiful at CHC as sparrows and goldfinches, there are a lot of Eastern Bluebirds there, calling overhead and decorating the saplings at eye level in various shades of blue. Like robins, bluebirds lose their speckled breasts, which remind us that they're thrushes, with the first molt. Bluebirds can generally be seen at CHC year-round, but they're really easy to find there right now because there are so many of them. Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn, Shaun & Cindy Bamford, Steve Weis, and Deb Payson.
47 species

Mute Swan  2
Mallard  4
Common Loon  1
Turkey Vulture  2
Sharp-shinned Hawk  2
Cooper's Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Herring Gull (American)  3
Mourning Dove  15
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  8
Merlin  1
Blue Jay  20
American Crow  6
Tree Swallow  4
Carolina Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  11
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Brown Creeper  1
Carolina Wren  6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3
Eastern Bluebird  25
American Robin  30
Gray Catbird  2
Brown Thrasher  3
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  30
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Palm Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  9
Eastern Towhee  4
Chipping Sparrow  10
Field Sparrow  3
Vesper Sparrow  1
Savannah Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  17
Swamp Sparrow  23
White-throated Sparrow  20
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  25
Northern Cardinal  7
Red-winged Blackbird  12
Common Grackle  6
House Finch  6
Purple Finch  14
American Goldfinch  32

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

Fall Migrants at the Rea Farm - Saturday, November 8th, 2014

We saw all the likely warblers for a November morning at the Rea Farm today - Yellow-rumped (of course), Palm, Common Yellowthroat, and the much less common Orange-crowned Warbler. The Orange-crowned was a 'lifer' for a few members of the group and it's a bird that, if you're unfamiliar with it, is easily overlooked. At a glance, you might mistake it for Tennessee or a Yellow Warbler. But Orange-crowned Warblers always show yellowish undertail coverts and have a thin dark tail, a pale supercilium, faint eyeline and a split eyering, and often show a pale area at the bend in the wing. Late fall migrants, they are here in peak numbers now and some may overwinter in the area.  Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn, and Deb Payson.
51 species

Canada Goose  22
Gadwall  8
Mallard  14
Double-crested Cormorant  26
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  9
Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Killdeer  1
Herring Gull (American)  1
Mourning Dove  6
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  3
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  2
Eastern Phoebe  2
Blue Jay  15
American Crow  5
Fish Crow  16
Tree Swallow  3
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  1
Brown Creeper  1
Carolina Wren  5
Golden-crowned Kinglet  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Eastern Bluebird  18
Hermit Thrush  4
American Robin  150
Gray Catbird  3
Brown Thrasher  3
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  70
Cedar Waxwing  11
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  1
Palm Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  3
Field Sparrow  1
Vesper Sparrow  3
Savannah Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  8
Swamp Sparrow  13
White-throated Sparrow  7
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  5
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  75
Common Grackle  9
Purple Finch  2
American Goldfinch  21

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