Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cape May 1/14--Green-winged Teal; Great Egg Harbor--Great Egret

Shari suggested a drive down to Cape May and I readily agreed. It occurred to me that we hadn't made it down there yet in the new year, very unusual for us.

We didn't get there until late morning and started off at the CMBO Center across from Lily Lake. While Shari got our new Beanery permit labels, I scoped out the lake, finding lots of waterfowl, but nothing new. We then made our way over to the state park where we scoped the pond from the hawkwatch platform. A Tundra Swan (certainly not a new bird, but always a good bird to see) was the highlight there, especially since it took about 15 minutes for it to raise its head so we could determine species. They must be able to hold their breath a very long time!

We walked through the park where the dominant bird was Yellow-rumped Warbler. Every where we looked they were flying in and out of cedars, scratching in the leaf litter, and chasing one another about. It wasn't until we had almost completed the loop and were walking on the side of the hawkwatch pond that Shari finally found us a year bird--3 Green-winged Teal way in the back and out of camera range. These tiny ducks are a particular favorite of Shari--their cream, green, and chestnut color combination she finds attractive.

After lunch we took a look at The Meadows but aside from House Sparrows and a Northern Mockingbird, didn't add anything new. We drove around the streets a little bit and looked scoped from one of the dune crossings, but came up empty. Our final stop was The Beanery where Shari spotted a Cooper's Hawk waiting to greet us as we pulled into the lot.

It wasn't the birdiest day we've ever had down there but the conditions were fine for a mid-winter day and we passed my "are we having fun?" test.

I had sort of been hoping to come up with a white wader while we were down there, especially while we are The Meadows, but there were none to been seen. Then as we were cross the bridge over Great Egg Harbor, I looked down on the shore and at the edge of the water I saw a Great Egret. Perhaps two, or perhaps the other bird, which looked smaller, was a Snowy Egret (which would be rare), but at 65 mph, I'll count the sure bird and let the other one go.

Our Cape May List: 39 species.
Species                     Location
Canada Goose     Lily Lake
Mute Swan     Lily Lake
Tundra Swan     Cape May Point SP
Gadwall     Lily Lake
American Wigeon     Lily Lake
American Black Duck     Cape May Point SP
Mallard     Lily Lake
Northern Shoveler     Lily Lake
Northern Pintail     Cape May Point SP
Green-winged Teal     Cape May Point SP
Ring-necked Duck     Lily Lake
Hooded Merganser     Lily Lake
Red-breasted Merganser     Lily Lake
Ruddy Duck     Cape May Point SP
Double-crested Cormorant     Lily Lake
Great Blue Heron     Lily Lake
Black Vulture     Cape May Point SP
Turkey Vulture     Lily Lake
Cooper's Hawk     Cape May Point SP
American Coot     Cape May Point SP
Ring-billed Gull     Lily Lake
Herring Gull     Cape May Point SP
Great Black-backed Gull     Sunset Beach/Concrete Ship
Rock Pigeon     Cape May Point SP
Mourning Dove     Cape May Point SP
Downy Woodpecker     The Beanery
Northern Flicker     The Beanery
Blue Jay     Lily Lake
American Crow     Lily Lake
Carolina Chickadee     Lily Lake
Carolina Wren     Cape May Point SP
American Robin     Cape May Point SP
Northern Mockingbird     Cape May Meadows
Yellow-rumped Warbler     Cape May Point SP
Dark-eyed Junco     Cape May Point SP
White-throated Sparrow     The Beanery
Song Sparrow     Cape May Point SP
Northern Cardinal     Cape May Point SP
House Sparrow     Cape May Meadows

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