Saturday, October 02, 2010

Cape May - Sunday morning

We had planned to visit Higbee beach on Sunday morning, a 'wildlife management area' (i.e. land maintained for shooting stuff), as at this time of year it's safe and has a reputation for being a prime spot for migrants to stop and rest. We arrived with plenty of time to spare, a good twenty minutes before first light and picked a spot before a row of bushes and trees to watch the dawn:

In truth we didn't see much after dawn, a combination of inexperienced eyes and the weather leading to low numbers of migrants stopping off.

We did locate what I believe is a juvenile Yellow-rumped Warbler (myrtle):

And enjoyed seeing the large numbers of Northern Flickers gathering together and then moving through the trees before gathering up again:

This formerly mystery bird has been identified (by Linda who I met in Albuquerque, thank you Linda) as a female Indigo Bunting, which is a new species!:

Magnolia Warbler:

A bird we heard before we saw it and which was initially quite tricky to spot, was this Brown Thrasher:

They have a great repertoire of calls and sounds:

A Blue Jay with a berry:

From Higbee we decided to head north to some other birding locations. We repeatedly tried to visit a CMBO visitor centre with trails and lots of different habitats, but it was closed due to being short staffed (we later found out). That was very frustrating. As an interim between attempted visits (at the time we though it might just open a bit later), we stopped off at Beaver Pond in the hope of seeing the Bald Eagle:

Instead we saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker:

Our last stop of the morning and with the weather really rolling in now, as forecast, we found Brigantine, a preserve on the outskirts of Atlantic City, seen in the distance here:

More Savannah Sparrows:

A mixed flock of waders:

Which included Sanderling:

As well as Pectoral Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Dunlin and Black-bellied Plovers. The preserve also hosted lots of Snowy and Great White Egrets and good numbers of Forster's Terns, including one that flew quite close by:

From Brigantine, as it started to rain, we decided to head back to the tip of Cape May and to see if we could get out from under the clouds.

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