Friday, October 17, 2008

Cape May Day 1 - Oct 16th

Ipswich Savannah Sparrow - Nummy's Island.

Boat-tailed Grackle - Nummy's Island.

Marsh Wren - Skulking by the parking lot at Jake's Landing.

The first day of our family break at Cape May saw us driving around the Cape May peninsula getting reacquainted with old, familiar sites and getting a feel for some new ones. During the day we covered Cape May Bird Observatory, Cape May Point State Park (and Hawkwatch), a brief visit to Higbee Beach, Nummy's Island, the Avalon Seawatch and finished off at Jake's Landing. It was a very warm day with temperatures in the low eighties, and a south-western breeze ensured that, by Cape May standards, is was a relatively slow. Even so, for us at least, there seemed to be plenty of migrants around, mostly Yellow-rumped Warblers with a few Blackpoll Warblers plus the regular presence of raptors including lots of Sharp-shinned Hawks, some Merlins and a few tundrius Peregrines. Numbers of Laughing Gulls, Royal Terns, Carolina Chickadees and a few Boat-tailed Grackles were all indicative of being siginificantly further south than Massachusetts.

Nummy's Island had some of the best birding with about 50 American Oystercatchers, 60 Red Knot, 2 Caspian Terns and bird-of-the-day for my money - an Ipswich Savannah Sparrow with about 4 Savannah Sparrows feeding in the salt marsh and tide-wrack close the road.

As we finished our day, a weak rain bearing front was evidently moving through bringing the promise of a more exciting day on Friday.

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