Morning Flight - 29 September 2014

With light south to west winds overnight it seems like a small amount was occurring but there was very little evidence of this, today at the Higbee dike.


Weather and time: cloudy; 64–67 ºF; winds W at 3 mph; 85% cloud cover; very good visibility; 0653 sunrise; 2.25 hours.
 
       Morning Flight Count totals
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  5
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  2
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)  22
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  1
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  1
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  6
Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)  1
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  6
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  4
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  1
warbler sp. (Parulinae sp.)  2
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  2
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  8   south

Today's full list can be viewed at: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19980232

Morning Flight - 28 September 2014

For a morning lacking any real migration vibe it was still quite a decent and fun to watch flight. The largest tally of southbound Blue Jays for the year was reached with 101.

Weather and time: mostly clear; 59–68 ºF; winds ENE to ESE at 2-3 mph; 25% cloud cover; good visibility; 0652 sunrise; 3.25 hours. 

Morning Flight Count totalsBelted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1     south
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  16     plus 7 south
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)  4
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  3
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  33
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  14
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  144     43 north, 101 south
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)  25     south predawn
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  7
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  3
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  13
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)  1
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  14
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  6
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  4
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)  1
Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis)  1     took off from reeds below and went south
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  4
Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)  3
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  4
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)  2
Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)  1
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  22
Bay-breasted/Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga castanea/striata)  3
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  8
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  8
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  7
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  3
warbler sp. (Parulinae sp.)  5
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  1
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)  1
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  4
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  3
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  2
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  3
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1

Today's full list can be viewed at:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19974278
Is this a Peach- and Marigold-shafted Flicker???
Is this a pigment aberration? I'm not sure, but it sure is pretty! (Photos by: Glen Davis) 

And now for the smooth photographic stylings of Tom Johnson
Most Blue Jays have been heading south at Morning Flight.
Dull the blue and add some yellow to color up a Magnolia Warbler
Lookout little mutant/hybrid flicker, a giant Monarch is bearing down on you!
(Photos by: Tom Johnson)


Morning Flight - 27 September 2014

Photo by: Glen Davis
Today was a surprisingly, spectacular flight with 48 species counted for Morning Flight. It was also extra especially challenging to stay grounded with. Birds carried on their movements in a great variety of flightlines and with erratic pacing. On the warbler front Palm Warbler (259), Northern Parula (155), American Redstart (108), and Black-and-white Warbler (82) led the charge. Northern Flicker had it's second biggest flight of the year (highest so far is 451 on Sept 23) with 235.The first three Pine Siskins of the year also now indicate that this year will see a notable influx of both this species and Purple Finch (season high of 9 today) this fall. A count of 20 Red-breasted Nuthatches bodes well for them too.


Weather and time: clear; 61–75 ºF; winds NNW at 5 mph; 0% cloud cover; very good visibility; 0652 sunrise; 4.25 hours.
 
       Morning Flight Count totals
 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  2
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  2
Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  20
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  235
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)  3
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)  1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  41
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)  40     south
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  20
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)  5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  3
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  6
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  24
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)  5
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  353
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  25
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  82
Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)  2
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)  1
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  108
Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)  3
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  155
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)  6
Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)  1
Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca)  2
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  4
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)  1
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  43
Bay-breasted/Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga castanea/striata)  8
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  37
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  259
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  38
Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor)  1
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  13
warbler sp. (Parulinae sp.)  403
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  2
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  11
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)  9
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  1
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  16
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  97
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  4
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  19
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  9
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  3
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  22
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  12

Hawkwatch - 28 September 2014


Cape May
Cape May Point, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 28, 2014
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              6              6
Turkey Vulture               0            117            117
Osprey                      63           2098           2098
Bald Eagle                   3            295            295
Northern Harrier             4            161            161
Sharp-shinned Hawk         203           2935           2935
Cooper's Hawk               64            745            745
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              4              4
Broad-winged Hawk            4            184            184
Red-tailed Hawk              0            107            107
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            86           2169           2169
Merlin                       5            495            495
Peregrine Falcon            40            254            254
Unknown Accipiter            0              3              3
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              1              1
Zone-tailed Hawk             0              1              1

Total:                     472           9576           9576
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 05:45:00 
Observation end   time: 16:00:00 
Total observation time: 10.25 hours

Official Counter:        Mary Raikes

Observers:        

Weather:
Very light and variable winds for all of day; 0-5 mph from the east, south,
and southwest.  A low ground fog limited visibility until 0630EST.  Very
warm temperatures (79F) with high cirrus clouds.

Raptor Observations:
Flight was north of the platform, moving east to west, far above and beyond
the treeline. 

Non-raptor Observations:
Large flocks of Blue Jays in the am (70+), Cape May Warbler(2), Yellow
Warbler, Palm Warbler, Caspian Tern(2), Black Skimmer(50), American
Widgeon, Gadwall, Little Blue Heron.

Predictions:
Partly cloudy.  Winds light and variable.
========================================================================
Cape May information may be found at:
http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/CMBO/

Seawatch - 28 November 2014

Observation time: 0552 - 1846
Observer: Skye Haas

Species observed:
American Wigeon - 6
Nothern Pintail - 4
Green-winged Teal - 74
Duck sp. - 3
Surf Scoter - 3
Dark-winged Scoter - 1
Common Loon - 1
Nothern Gannet - 1
Brown Pelican - 1
Double-crested Cormorant - 252
Great Cormorant - 2
Caspian Tern - 1
Forster's Tern - 8
Royal Tern - 24
Parasitic Jaeger - 2
Jaeger sp. - 2
Semipalmated Plover - 28
Calidris sp. -9
Sulid sp. - 1

Total: 423


A note from Skye:
Hot and slow is the succinct summary of today's count at Avalon. Still there were a few fun sightings and after all, any day spent birding is a good one right? Green-winged Teal and Cormorants were seen moving in modest numbers, and two different young Great Cormorants were observed. Four jaegers were seen; the morning bird was quite feisty and attacked an Osprey. There was a very subtle but prolonged Royal Tern migration over the course of the day. They do seem to be clearing out fast. Non-waterbirds of note include another Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Cape May Warbler and quite a few butterflies. Several Monarchs were seen, as well as a Lady of some kind, 5 Buckeyes, Milbert's Tortoiseshell, and some kind of small Lycanid (hairstreak/blue).

[Ospery. Photo by Skye Haas.]

Seawatch - 27 September 2014

Observation time; 0550 - 1850
Observer: Skye Haas

Species Observed:
Northern Pintail – 4
Green-winged Teal – 110
Dabbler sp. – 2
Duck sp. – 15
Surf Scoter – 4
Black Scoter – 7
Common Loon – 2
Northern Gannet – 3
Brown Pelican – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 803
Laughing Gull – 39
Caspian Tern – 2
Forster’s Tern – 14
Royal Tern – 3
Tern sp. – 5
Semipalmated Plover – 19
Sandpiper sp. – 4


Total: 1,033

A note from Skye:
It was a moderate flight today at Avalon. Green-winged Teal made their first decent yet humble push of birds, and the Cormorants continued a second morning of flying. A few more Northern Gannets were seen today, including a nice adult off the 8th street jetty. Peregrines have been seen the last few days hunting shorebirds along the seawall. There was a small morning Northern Flicker flight down the shoreline, but the non-waterbird that really caught my attention was the Ammodramus sparrow that came flying off the ocean. But alas, I could not tell what kind it was. There were still decent numbers of Tree Swallows passing by the count site, but I didn't see the huge flock that has been feeding at the Townsend's Inlet the last few days. A nice afternoon event was the Cobbs Creek Docent Program bring a group of students from Philadelphia. It was fun to see them checking out the seawatch and I ended up talking pine forest fire ecology with them for a few. Hopefully some of these kids will be coming back to Cape May Bird Observatory in a few years to be interpretive naturalists!  
[Peregrine Falcon. Photo by Skye Haas.]
[Tree Swallow. Photo by Skye Haas.]

Hawkwatch - 27 September 2014


Cape May
Cape May Point, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 27, 2014
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              6              6
Turkey Vulture              13            117            117
Osprey                      71           2035           2035
Bald Eagle                  10            292            292
Northern Harrier             9            157            157
Sharp-shinned Hawk         443           2732           2732
Cooper's Hawk               76            681            681
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              4              4
Broad-winged Hawk           18            180            180
Red-tailed Hawk             13            107            107
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            67           2083           2083
Merlin                      39            490            490
Peregrine Falcon            32            214            214
Unknown Accipiter            0              3              3
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              1              1
Zone-tailed Hawk             1              1              1

Total:                     792           9104           9104
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 05:45:00 
Observation end   time: 16:00:00 
Total observation time: 10.25 hours

Official Counter:        Mary Raikes

Observers:        

Weather:
Zero cloud coverage today with light and variable winds for most of the
day.  Starting from the N in the early morning then NE, switching to NW
mid-day, and then S/SE/SW in the afternoon.  Temperatures reaching 77F.

Raptor Observations:
ZONE-TAILED HAWK: seen first in small kettle over bunker 0945(EST), then
headed north, circled back high over platform and headed SW from point over
Delaware Bay.
Lots of sharp-shinned hawks in the morning followed by a really, really
high flight in the afternoon.

Non-raptor Observations:
Pied-billed Grebe(1), American Widgeon(7), Little Blue Heron, Black
Skimmer(10), Caspian Tern(1).  Large flocks of Blue Jays(50+). 

Predictions:
Sunny, mid-70's, winds light and variable E/SE 0-5mph.
========================================================================
Cape May information may be found at:
http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/CMBO/

Seawatch - 26 September 2014

Observation time: 0549 - 1855
Observer: Skye Haas

Species observed:
Green-winged Teal – 1
Surf Scoter – 8
Black Scoter – 7
Common Loon – 1
Northern Gannet – 1
Brown Pelican – 5
Double-crested Cormorant – 1930
Great Cormorant – 1
Cormorant sp. – 3
Great Blue Heron – 2
Laughing Gull – 7
Caspian Tern – 6
Forster’s Tern – 6
Royal Tern – 12
American Oystercatcher – 3


Total: 1,993

Skye's summary of the day:
The Avalon Seawatch was a more pleasant place today than the previous two days. The ocean was far more gentle and viewing conditions greatly improved. My first bird of the day was a Northern Gannet, so for a Great Lakes guy I took it as a good omen. It of course ended up being my only gannet of the day, but it quickly became apparent that it was going to be a good Cormorant day. A nice early season total of 1,930 Double-crested Cormorants were recorded as well as the first Great Cormorant of the season. Only a few ducks were seen today, both species of dark-winged scoter and a single Green-winged Teal. An oddity for the count location was an out-of-place Red-bellied Woodpecker in the parking lot pines that seemed eager to keep moving. Shorebird numbers are building on the jetty as well with a mix of Turnstones, Western, Semipalmated & Least Sandpipers and over 250 Sanderlings. Finally, the Bottle-nosed Dolphin show was pretty exciting today, but there haven't been any more Humpback Whale sightings since Tuesday.

[Double-crested Cormorants. Photo by Skye Haas.]


[Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Photo by Skye Haas.]

Hawkwatch - 26 September 2014


Cape May
Cape May Point, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 26, 2014
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              6              6
Turkey Vulture               2            104            104
Osprey                     116           1964           1964
Bald Eagle                  12            282            282
Northern Harrier             8            148            148
Sharp-shinned Hawk         255           2289           2289
Cooper's Hawk              129            605            605
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              4              4
Broad-winged Hawk            8            162            162
Red-tailed Hawk              5             94             94
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel            83           2016           2016
Merlin                      68            451            451
Peregrine Falcon            32            182            182
Unknown Accipiter            0              3              3
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              1              1

Total:                     718           8312           8312
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 05:45:00 
Observation end   time: 16:00:00 
Total observation time: 10.25 hours

Official Counter:        Mary Raikes

Observers:        

Weather:
Mainly clear skies in the am with winds from the north 5-10 mph, then
mostly cloudy skies in the afternoon with winds light and variable from the
NW, S, SE, and SW.  

Raptor Observations:
Large kettles of very high accipiters throughout most of the day, as well
as nice numbers of falcons.  All quite high, often disappearing in the
clouds.

Non-raptor Observations:
Pied-billed grebe, Northern Shovelers, Green and Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall,
Little Blue Heron, Common Nighthawk(1) feeding over pond mid-day.  Movement
of Blue Jays in the am (25+).

Predictions:
Mainly sunny, high of 76, with winds from the NE 5-10 mph.
========================================================================
Cape May information may be found at:
http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/CMBO/

Morning Flight – 26 September 2014

This morning brought a stop-and-go flight along a broad front, with Blackpolls, Parulas, and Palms leading the charge. A couple American Pipits, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and a Warbling Vireo were enjoyable, as was the Merlin that almost snagged a Scarlet Tanager <15ft above observers' heads. 

     Weather and time: sunny; 57–63ºF; winds N at 10 mph; 0–10% cloud cover; excellent visibility; 0651 sunrise; 4.25 hours. Observer: Tom Reed.

     Morning Flight Count totals
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  9
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  84
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)  1
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  12
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)  4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  19
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)  2
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  108
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  8
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  12
Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)  6
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)  2
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  41
Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)  5
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  121
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)  11
Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)  1
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  2
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)  2
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  138
Bay-breasted/Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga castanea/striata)  27
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  17
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  121
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  9
Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor)  1
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  2
warbler sp. (Parulinae sp.)  111
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)  9
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  1
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  13
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  12
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 9
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  36

Seawatch - 25 September 2014

Observation time: 0559 - 1851
Observer: Skye Haas

[Two Brant flying past the Seawatch. Photo by Skye Haas.]


Species observed:
Brant – 2
American Black Duck – 1
Surf Scoter – 1
Black Scoter – 6
Dark-winged Scoter – 14
Brown Pelican – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 17
Laughing Gull – 28
Herring Gull – 5
Greater Black-backed Gull – 3
Caspian Tern – 2
Forster’s Tern – 3
Royal Tern – 5
Parasitic Jaeger – 3
Long-tailed Jaeger – 1
Jaeger sp. – 1
Calidris sp. – 8


Total: 101

A note from Skye:
I must admit I didn't have high hopes for today as I drove up the Cape in the predawn stormy weather, and upon arriving at the count site, I couldn't even see the 8th Street Jetty for the first hour of the count due to the rain and fog. So imagine my surprise in the second hour when the fog rolled back a couple hundred meters when a small dark jaeger came fighting its way through the wind down the seawall! The bird was clearly a juvenile LONG-TAILED JAEGER and gave me some great looks as it flew right in front of me and up over the seawall before rounding the yellow house at the end of the lot! Very exciting and a rare treat for me! The next hour of the watch ended up being the most productive which is not saying too much, as only a few Parasitic Jaegers flew by and a handful of dark-winged scoters moved through the troughs. The afternoon was nearly dead, but a Brown Pelican and a pair of Brant gave me something to look at besides the Caspian and Royal Terns. I think the next few days should be a bit dryer, hopefully a few more ducks start flying. 

Now you can be treated to the worst Long-tail photograph ever!

[Long-tailed Jaeger. Photo by Skye Haas]