Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, February 18th, 2017

It felt more like spring than winter this morning and it seemed the birds thought so, too; flocks were moving around the Point in pleasantly noisy groups. The Point has many native trees and shrubs, and Cedar Waxwings and American Robins were taking full advantage, busily traveling from tree to tree, stripping the branches of berries. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, regular winter visitors here, were busy making the rounds at their sap wells. Sapsuckers are "famous", among birders and birds alike, for these sap wells which provide food in the form of both sap and attracted insects. Many species, including warblers and hummingbirds, come to these sap rings to feed. Look for them in the large trees in the circle at the Point. Leaders: Kathy Horn, Roger Horn, Karl Lukens, Kyle Chelius, & Michael McCabe.
41 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  12
Mute Swan  4
Gadwall  3
American Wigeon  6
Mallard (Northern)  14
Northern Shoveler  2
Green-winged Teal (American)  2
Ring-necked Duck  6
Surf/Black Scoter  15
Bufflehead  4
Hooded Merganser  2
Red-breasted Merganser  2
Ruddy Duck  1
Northern Gannet  1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Turkey Vulture  3
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Northern)  1
Killdeer  5
Herring Gull (American)  12
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  1
Mourning Dove  12
Belted Kingfisher  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2
Blue Jay  4
Tree Swallow  5
Carolina Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  3
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  1
American Robin  28
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  6
Cedar Waxwing  8
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  8
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  7
White-throated Sparrow  6
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  2
Common Grackle  6
Brown-headed Cowbird  13
House Finch  5
House Sparrow  6

Sunday Morning at Turkey Point - Sunday, February 12th

Glades Wildlife Refuge--Turkey Pt., Cumberland
Leaders: Janet Crawford, Karen Johnson, Chris Marks, & Mary Watkins.
29 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose  400
Canada Goose  6
Mute Swan  6
Gadwall  20
American Wigeon  15
American Black Duck  50
Mallard  18
Green-winged Teal  6
Canvasback  1
Long-tailed Duck  6     Actual count
Bufflehead  200
Common Goldeneye  35
Common Merganser (North American)  60
Ruddy Duck  80
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  1
Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Harrier  27     Actual count
Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  23     Actual count
Bonaparte's Gull  35
Ring-billed Gull  8
Herring Gull  12
Mourning Dove  3
American Crow  2
American Robin  12
Northern Mockingbird  1
Song Sparrow  1
Swamp Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  6

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

Sundays at Northwood - Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Since it was over cast and rain possibly to come later in the walk, we ventured out into town first by birding along Lake Lily, through the Point, and down to the ocean. A variety of ducks were seen on the lake and in the ocean including Mallards, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Ducks, and Black and Surf Scoters. Songbirds seen and heard along the way included Cedar Waxwings, Purple Finch, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and hundreds of American Robins. Back behind the Northwood Center, we had good views of White-breasted Nuthatch, Fox and White-throated Sparrows among others. Much time was spent discussing bird-friendly backyard habitat. Leaders: Catherine Busch and Bert Hixon.

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Thirteen duck species? It must be winter, at least if you see them in Cape May. The ducks are plentiful again, with lots of open water, and they're looking fine, from the flashy Long-tails and Hoodies (Hooded Mergansers) to the subtlety beautiful Gadwalls. Carolina Wrens were also plentiful and in full-throated song, and at least a few of the very late-lingering Tree Swallows have made it through the winter so far. Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn, Karl Lukens, and Kyle Chelius.
45 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  35
Mute Swan  4
Tundra Swan (Whistling)  7
Gadwall  58
American Wigeon  8
Mallard  65
Northern Shoveler  20
Northern Pintail  6
Green-winged Teal (American)  17
Ring-necked Duck  8
Black Scoter  22
Surf/Black Scoter  6
Long-tailed Duck  6
Bufflehead  6
Hooded Merganser  12
Red-breasted Merganser  2
Red-throated Loon  1
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)  2
Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Harrier (American)  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull (American)  5
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  19
Mourning Dove  2
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  5
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  3
Tree Swallow  4
Carolina Chickadee  2
Carolina Wren (Northern)  11
American Robin  5
Brown Thrasher  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  13
Cedar Waxwing  22
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  18
Field Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  3
White-throated Sparrow  12
Song Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  5
Common Grackle  1
House Finch  9

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

Sundays at Northwood - Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Despite a very windy and mostly overcast day, our group had an enjoyable morning birding behind the Northwood Center and around Cape May Point. Highlights included both nuthatches, three Fox Sparrows, a single female Eastern Towhee, an unexpected Snow Goose on Lake Lily along with a rare for this time of year female Blue-winged Teal. Close flyovers of adult Bald Eagle were a treat as always. Leaders: Catherine Busch & Mary Watkins.

Cape Island--CMP--CMBO Northwood Center, Cape May, New Jersey, US
20 species

Bald Eagle  1
Mourning Dove  25
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  5
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  1
Carolina Chickadee  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Carolina Wren  2
American Robin  35
European Starling  30
Fox Sparrow (Red)  3
White-throated Sparrow  20
Eastern Towhee  1
Northern Cardinal  8
Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged)  15
Common Grackle  16
Brown-headed Cowbird  30
House Finch  6
American Goldfinch  4

Cape Island--Cape May Pt., Cape May, New Jersey, US
35 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose  1
Canada Goose  15
Mute Swan  4
American Wigeon  3
Mallard  8
Blue-winged Teal  1     Female
Ring-necked Duck  5
scoter sp.  10
Long-tailed Duck  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Bald Eagle  1
Ring-billed Gull  5
Herring Gull  3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  15
Mourning Dove  10
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  5
Tree Swallow  9     Uncommon
Carolina Chickadee  12
Tufted Titmouse  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  75
Brown Thrasher  1
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  15
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  25
Dark-eyed Junco  12
White-throated Sparrow  8
Song Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  8
Common Grackle  12
Brown-headed Cowbird  10
House Finch  10
American Goldfinch  6
House Sparrow  12

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

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, February 4th, 2017

With ponds mostly frozen, duck numbers were low this morning so we headed to feeders around the Point.  Along the way, we had quite a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows. A lone Tree Swallow was spotted over the beach and a beautiful male Purple Finch was found hanging out near a feeder at the Circle.  Leaders: Kathy Horn, Karl Lukens, and Michael McCabe.
36 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  32
Mute Swan  2
Gadwall  2
Mallard  8
Ring-necked Duck  6
Surf/Black Scoter  6
Bufflehead  1
Hooded Merganser  2
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  1
Bald Eagle  1
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull (American)  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  5
Mourning Dove  4
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  4
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  2
Tree Swallow  1
Carolina Chickadee  2
Carolina Wren  9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  2
Northern Mockingbird  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  16
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  15
White-throated Sparrow  15
Song Sparrow  5
Northern Cardinal  6
Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged)  3
House Finch  2
Purple Finch  1
American Goldfinch  6
House Sparrow  5

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

Sundays at Northwood - Sunday, January 29th, 2017

A bright, sunny morning brought out the birds behind Northwood, and participants enjoyed feeding White-thoated and Fox Sparrows (the latter a lifer for one participant!), White-breasted Nuthatches, and Downy Woodpeckers. An adult Bald Eagle flew over at close range. After enjoying waterfowl on Lake Lily, we did some seawatching at St. Peter's beach where we say loons, scoters, gannets, and gulls. Join us next week for a walk around Cape May Point! Leaders: Catherine Busch, Bert Hixon, and Catherine Busch.

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, January 28th, 2017

We had a Yellow-rumped Warbler phenomenon on this morning's walk. Streams of yellow-rumps were flying through, moving from one tree to the next in front of us. There were so many, we had a discussion of how to get a reliable count for eBird entry. The Cornell eBird Team does provide guidance on this (http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/counting-101) and it gets easier with practice; we came up with 120 yellow-rumps with subtle plumage differences indicating their age and sex. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was cooperatively chipping and feeding and a Purple Finch posed briefly atop a leafless tree. Leaders: Kathy Horn, Roger Horn, Karl Lukens, and Kyle Chelius.
41 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  140
Mute Swan  4
Tundra Swan  8
Gadwall  12
American Wigeon  8
American Black Duck  4
Mallard (Northern)  16
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)  1
Northern Shoveler  4
Northern Pintail  2
Canvasback  1
Ring-necked Duck  9
Bufflehead  8
Hooded Merganser  13
Red-breasted Merganser  1
Red-throated Loon  1
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)  2
Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Harrier (American)  1
Bald Eagle  1
Ring-billed Gull  6
Herring Gull (American)  5
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  14
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  4
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  2
Tree Swallow  17     Actual count of birds that have been lingering in the area
Carolina Chickadee  2
Carolina Wren (Northern)  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
American Robin  25
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  12
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  120
White-throated Sparrow  8
Song Sparrow  1
Eastern Towhee  1
Northern Cardinal  1
Purple Finch (Eastern)  1

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

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Tundra Swans and ducks were birds of the day, largely because they sit low and you can get close enough to see them through the fog. The Red-shouldered Hawk made himself evident by repeated calling but we couldn't see him across the foggy pond. One of our participants asked about the derivation of the name "wigeon". A quick search shows the word has been in use since the early 1500s but there's no clear provenance. It does make for a handy link though to help remember that wigeon is the duck with the white head stripe, whatever the word's origin. Leaders: Kathy Horn, Roger Horn, Karl Lukens, and Kyle Chelius.
28 species

Canada Goose  19"
Gadwall  12
American Wigeon  7
American Black Duck  4
Mallard  22
Northern Shoveler  6
Northern Pintail  13
Ring-necked Duck  15
Bufflehead  11
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)  1
Turkey Vulture  3
Red-shouldered Hawk (lineatus Group)  1
Herring Gull (American)  3
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  3
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  2
Carolina Chickadee  4
Winter Wren  1
Carolina Wren (Northern)  9
American Robin  14
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  6
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  30
White-throated Sparrow  6
Song Sparrow  2
Eastern Towhee  1
Northern Cardinal  2

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

Bird Walk for Beginners - Monday, January 16th, 2017

Though this was billed as a "bird walk for beginners," we encountered a bird so unusual that many experienced birders have never seen one! It was an almost totally leucistic American Robin. Leucism is a partial loss of color due to a genetic mutation that prevents melanin and other pigments from being deposited in the feathers. In this case, it was a robin that was almost totally white except for some patches of 'robin red' in the breast. You wonder how long such a bird will survive since he practically glowed amidst the dark leaves of the holly tree he was feeding in. Speaking with the property owners, who are helping birds make it through the winter by providing a bird bath for bathing and drinking, we found that the bird had already been there for two weeks so he's evaded the local Cooper's hawks and goshawks so far. Other favorites this morning included a perched Red-shouldered Hawk, feeding Fox Sparrow and a very cooperative Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn, and Karl Lukens.
42 species

Canada Goose  10
Mute Swan  4
Gadwall  11
American Wigeon  4
American Black Duck  6
Mallard (Northern)  15
Northern Shoveler  8
Ring-necked Duck  8
Black Scoter  1
Bufflehead  6
Red-throated Loon  1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  14
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Ring-billed Gull  3
Herring Gull (American)  10
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  20
Mourning Dove  5
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Blue Jay  7
American Crow  3
Tree Swallow  3
Carolina Chickadee  5
White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern)  2
Carolina Wren  7
American Robin  4     Leucistic bird found; mostly white with  patches of red feathers in breast
Northern Mockingbird  6
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  5
Fox Sparrow (Red)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  2
White-throated Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  1
House Finch  9
American Goldfinch  1
House Sparrow  3

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

Leucistic American Robin [Photo by Roger Horn]

Northern Mockingbird [Photo by Roger Horn]

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker [Photo by Roger Horn]

Kick Off Your Year List - Sunday, January 1st, 2017


We KICKED the year off right on our January 1st field trip. Twenty-five enthusiastic birders covered a number of sites around the Cape May area, including Cape May Point State Park, Lake Lily, Northwood Center, Sunset Beach, Meadows, Two Mile Beach, and Sunset Lake. We turned up 78 species for the day, including Tundra Swan, 16 species of duck, Red-throated and Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Red-shouldered Hawk, Purple Sandpiper, Barred Owl, and Yellow-breasted Chat. An unexpected treat was a lingering Monarch Butterfly. A great day to be out!!!!!! Leaders: Brett Ewald, Catherine Busch, Bill Boyle, Karen Thompson, Warren Cairo, and Steve Weis.

Cape Island--Cape May Pt.
60 species

Canada Goose  X
Mute Swan  9
Gadwall  X
American Wigeon  X
American Black Duck  30
Mallard  X
Northern Shoveler  9
Northern Pintail  2
Green-winged Teal  1
Ring-necked Duck  X
Black Scoter  12
Long-tailed Duck  5
Bufflehead  X
Hooded Merganser  X
Ruddy Duck  X
Red-throated Loon  X
Northern Gannet  1
Double-crested Cormorant  5
Great Blue Heron  3
Turkey Vulture  7
Northern Harrier  1
Cooper's Hawk  2
Bald Eagle  1     Immature
Red-shouldered Hawk  2
American Coot  1
Ruddy Turnstone  4
Sanderling  1
Lesser Yellowlegs  7     In flight over dunes towards DE - id'ed in scope by Brett Ewald
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  X
Mourning Dove  5
Barred Owl  1     Seen by a few chased by crows across lake
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Blue Jay  5
American Crow  X
Carolina Chickadee  5
Red-breasted Nuthatch  3
Carolina Wren  4
American Robin  X
Gray Catbird  1
Brown Thrasher  3
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  X
Yellow-breasted Chat  1     Seen across lighthouse pond east through scope. Presumably same bird seen by Scott Whittle on 12/29
Dark-eyed Junco  2
White-throated Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  1
Eastern Towhee  1     heard only
Northern Cardinal  6
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Common Grackle  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  X
House Finch  X
House Sparrow  X

Cape Island--CMP--CMBO Northwood Center
22 species

Canada Goose  X
Gadwall  X
Mallard  X
Ring-necked Duck  X
Greater Scaup  1
Hooded Merganser  X
Ruddy Duck  X
Cooper's Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Carolina Chickadee  X
Tufted Titmouse  X
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  1
American Robin  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  X
White-throated Sparrow  X
Northern Cardinal  X
Common Grackle  X
Purple Finch  2     seen by a few
American Goldfinch  1

Cape Island--Sunset Beach/Concrete Ship
8 species

Black Scoter  X
Red-throated Loon  2
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Sanderling  X
Purple Sandpiper  3
Bonaparte's Gull  2
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  X

Cape Island--CMMBR (Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (Meadows))
27 species

Canada Goose  X
Mute Swan  X
Tundra Swan  3
Gadwall  X
Mallard  X
Northern Shoveler  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Black Scoter  X
Bufflehead  X
Hooded Merganser  X
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  X
Ruddy Turnstone  X
Sanderling  X
Bonaparte's Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  X
Mourning Dove  X
Tree Swallow  10
Carolina Wren  1
American Robin  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  X
White-throated Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
House Sparrow  X

Cape Island--Cape May Harbor--Delaware Ave.
5 species

Brant (Atlantic)  X
Bufflehead  X
Red-breasted Merganser  X
Common Loon  X
Double-crested Cormorant  X

Cape May NWR--Two Mile Unit
16 species

Surf Scoter  X
Black Scoter  X
Long-tailed Duck  X
Common Loon  X
Great Cormorant  1
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Ruddy Turnstone  2
Sanderling  X
Dunlin  X
Herring Gull (American)  X
Great Black-backed Gull  X
American Robin  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  X
White-throated Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X

Sunset Lake
14 species

Brant (Atlantic)  X
American Black Duck  X
Bufflehead  X
Hooded Merganser  X
Common Loon  X
Horned Grebe  4
Red-necked Grebe  1    Long neck & bill, pale cheek and flanks.
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  4     exact count - flying together through scope view
Northern Harrier  1
Cooper's Hawk  1
Herring Gull (American)  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  X

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

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, Dec 17th, 2016

The cold, windy weather may have been the reason nineteen Great Egrets were on the move this morning. Most egrets are long gone, having migrated to warmer climes well before this. These late lingerers have been scattered around the area marshes and have somehow found each other to continue their journey south. Leaders: Kathy & Roger Horn.
27 species

Gadwall  3
American Black Duck  1
Mallard  9
Northern Shoveler  1
Green-winged Teal (American)  5
Black Scoter  7
Long-tailed Duck  2
Bufflehead  1
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  19    
Turkey Vulture  2
Wilson's Snipe  1
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull (American)  11
Great Black-backed Gull  18
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
American Crow  3
Tree Swallow  16
Carolina Chickadee  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
Carolina Wren  4
American Robin  2
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  7
White-throated Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  1

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

Birding Cape May Point - Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Baltimore Orioles are late lingerers around Cape May this month; we had two feeding along the Red Trail on this morning's walk and several have been reported recently at the Rea Farm. We also saw both Red and White-breasted Nuthatches, neither of which are common at the Point but nice to compare when both are present. Leaders: Kathy Horn, Roger Horn, Karl Lukens, & Kyle Chelius.
53 species

Canada Goose  65
Mute Swan  4
Wood Duck  13    
Gadwall  11
American Black Duck  2
Mallard  12
Northern Shoveler  6
Green-winged Teal (American)  42
Surf Scoter  5
Black Scoter  19
Bufflehead  7
Hooded Merganser  10
Red-throated Loon  3
Northern Gannet  2
Great Blue Heron  5
Black Vulture  3
Turkey Vulture  9
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  2
Killdeer  2
Purple Sandpiper  3
Herring Gull (American)  7
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  2
Mourning Dove  3
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  4
Merlin  1
American Crow  2
Tree Swallow  9
Carolina Chickadee  4
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  3
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  28
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  18
Cedar Waxwing  25
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  3
Fox Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  5
White-throated Sparrow  7
Song Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  45
Common Grackle  15
Baltimore Oriole  2    
House Finch  15
Purple Finch  3
American Goldfinch  25
House Sparrow  3

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