Morning Flight -- 19 October 2014

It was a wonderful and blustery day at the dike! Yellow-rumped Warbler stole the show with 15,782 counted. The high wind speed created a spectacle of whipping and winding birds streaming by. The flight didn't really get started until 20-30 minutes past sunrise. Another major highlight was the staggering number of raptors (primarily Sharp-shinned Hawk with over 2,000 conservatively estimated) streaming north for the 6 hours of the day that the count was conducted. 

Weather and time:
 sun and clouds; 53 degrees F; winds NW at 18-28 mph; 30-60% cloud cover; very good visibility; 0712 sunrise; 6.25 hours.

Morning Flight Count totals:
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  93
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  4
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  6
kinglet sp. (Regulus sp.)  8     
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)  9
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  59
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  1
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  1
Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)  3
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  1
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)  2
Oreothlypis sp. (Oreothlypis sp.)  1     
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  1
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  5
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)  2
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  14
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  6     Filter
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  185
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  15782
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  2
warbler sp. (Parulinae sp.)  1741     
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  24
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  2
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  1
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  1
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)  3
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  1
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  6
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  2

Hawkwatch - 19 October 2014


Cape May
Cape May Point, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 19, 2014
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                2             73             79
Turkey Vulture              34            347            464
Osprey                      27           1427           3596
Bald Eagle                  11            175            476
Northern Harrier            39            305            481
Sharp-shinned Hawk         504           4971           8219
Cooper's Hawk              110           1567           2421
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          1             16             23
Broad-winged Hawk            8            427            635
Red-tailed Hawk              5             37            147
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              2              2
American Kestrel           339           1519           3757
Merlin                      82            625           1138
Peregrine Falcon            10            543            856
Unknown Accipiter            1              1              4
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              0              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              1
Zone-tailed Hawk             0              0              1

Total:                    1173          12035          22301
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 16:00:00 
Total observation time: 10 hours

Official Counter:        Mary Raikes

Observers:        

Weather:
A cold front passed through with temperatures only reaching 55F and strong
Northwest winds all day, steady 15-20 mph with gusts up to 29mph.  Skies
were mostly cloudy for the majority of the day and becoming clear in the
late afternoon.

Raptor Observations:
A good flight for most of the day with numbers fluctuating between periods
of sun and clouds.  A strong sharp-shinned, kestrel, and harrier flight. 
Flight remained low, but in all directions with no kettles forming.

Non-raptor Observations:
A good variety of waterfowl remain on the pond including Gadwall, Northern
Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, American Widgeon, Eurasian
Widgeon, American Coot, Greater Scaup, and Pied-billed Grebe.  Noticeable
flocks of Great Blue Heron(50+) and a variety of shorebirds-Pectoral
Sandpipers(7), Killdeer(45), Stilt Sandpiper(2), Snipe, and Greater
Yellowlegs.  Also, Brant(5) and Snow Goose(6).

Predictions:
Sunny, with winds west becoming south 5-10mph.
========================================================================
Cape May information may be found at:
http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/CMBO/

Seawatch - 18 October 2014

Observation time: 0610 - 1834
Observer: Skye Haas

Species counted:
Brant - 312
American Black Duck - 7
Northern Pintail - 4
Surf Scoter - 47
Black Scoter - 291
Scoter sp. - 9
Common Loon - 9
Northern Gannet - 6
Brown Pelican - 19
Doube-crested Cormorant - 951
Great Cormorant - 1
Great Blue Heron - 21
Great Egret - 173
Snowy Egret - 58
Laughing Gull - 115
Great Black-backed Gull - 7
Forster's Tern - 94
Royal Tern - 43
Parasitic Jaeger - 5
Jaeger sp. - 1
American Oystercatcher - 13
Sanderling - 1,340
Dunlin - 80
Red Knot - 45
Dowitcher sp. - 1
Ruddy Turnstone - 2
Semipalmated Plover - 4
Black-bellied Plover - 187
Sempalmated Sandpiper - 1
Calidris sp. - 15

Total: 3,861


Butterflies:
Monarch - 197
Buckeye - 9
Red Admiral - 5
Mourning Cloak - 4

A note from Skye:
Ok, so we have been in a little bit of a slump lately but as I type this, I can hear the wind picking up and I am very hopeful that a big push of birds for tomorrow
So today... It was not too happening but there is always something to catch one's eye when running a day long count. Foremost, I got a new seawatch bird- a White-breasted Nuthatch so huzzah for forest birds lost on well-developed barrier islands! After several days of only a few birds present, Ospreys made a modest push today, likely birds in active migration coming down the coast. Red Knots made a decent show with a couple of flocks flying by. Ducks were again pretty pitiful in numbers, but I really think thats about to change in the next day or so. Only a few jaegers today, but one was a sharp-looking dark morph. All other adult Parasitic Jaegers I've had this season have been light morphs. But the highlight of the day came in the last two hours of the count when waders made a big push down the coastline with 21 Great Blue Herons, a rousing 173 Great Egrets and 58 Snowy Egrets. At one point a flock of egrets came low over the ocean behind the rips, and were veiled in the spray of the breakers- a very lovely sight in the early evening light. Enchanting creatures!

Great Egrets. [Photo by Skye Haas.]
Bald Eagles. [Photo by Skye Haas.]




Hawkwatch - 18 October 2014


Cape May
Cape May Point, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 18, 2014
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                4             71             77
Turkey Vulture              36            313            430
Osprey                      49           1400           3569
Bald Eagle                  10            164            465
Northern Harrier            30            266            442
Sharp-shinned Hawk         369           4467           7715
Cooper's Hawk              122           1457           2311
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          2             15             22
Broad-winged Hawk            8            419            627
Red-tailed Hawk              3             32            142
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              2              2
American Kestrel           142           1180           3418
Merlin                      51            543           1056
Peregrine Falcon            23            533            846
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              3
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              0              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              1
Zone-tailed Hawk             0              0              1

Total:                     849          10862          21128
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 16:00:00 
Total observation time: 10 hours

Official Counter:        Mary Raikes

Observers:        

Weather:
Winds were light(5-10mph) from the west/southwest in the morning increasing
and switching to northwest/west in the afternoon with gusts up to 20mph. 
Skies with most cloudy in the am and then clearing and becoming partly
cloudy in the late afternoon.  Pleasant temperatures in reaching 70F.

Raptor Observations:
A nice flight today with lots of accipiters in the morning and then a
decent falcon flight in the afternoon.  Flight was lower than it has been
and following the treeline to the north and the dunes.

Non-raptor Observations:
Cliff swallow(2), Stilt sandpiper(2), Lesser Black-backed Gull(1), Caspian
Tern(2), Eurasian Widgeon(2), Blue Jays and Fish Crow flocks.

Predictions:
Northwest winds 20-25mph, becoming mostly sunny with temperatures only
reaching 58F.
========================================================================
Cape May information may be found at:
http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/CMBO/

Morning Flight -- 18 October 2014

Weather and time: sun and clouds; 63 degrees F; winds W at 10-20 mph; 20-60% cloud cover; very good visibility; 0712 sunrise; 3.25 hours. 

Morning Flight Count totals:
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  2
Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  7     4 north, 3 south
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  5
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  201     181 north, 20 south; fix filter
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  3
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  3
kinglet sp. (Regulus sp.)  1     Fix filter
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  27
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  25
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  1
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)  1
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  1
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  22
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  410     307 north, 103 south
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)  3
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  24
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  5
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  21     15 north, 6 south

Today's full checklist can be viewed here: 

Seawatch - 17 October 2014

Observation time: 0609 - 1819
Observer: Skye Haas

Species counted:
American Black Duck - 1
Northern Pintail - 41
Green-winged Teal - 1
Surf Scoter - 43
Black Scoter - 133
Dark-winged Scoter - 10
Red-throated Loon - 4
Common Loon - 7
Loon sp. - 1
Northern Gannet - 9
Brown Pelican - 11
Double-crested Cormorant - 591
Laughing Gull - 153
Great Black-backed Gull - 7
Caspian Tern - 3
Forster's Tern - 233
Royal Tern - 61
Black Skimmer - 20
Parasitic Jaeger - 13
American Oystercatcher - 16
Black-bellied Plover - 148
Semipalmated Plover - 7
Sanderling - 250
Dunlin - 200
Red Knot - 28
Ruddy Turnstone - 4
Dowitcher sp.- 4
White-rumped Sandpiper - 1

Total: 2,000


White-rumped Sandpiper. [Photo by Sam Galick.]

Hawkwatch - 17 October 2014


Cape May
Cape May Point, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 17, 2014
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                1             67             73
Turkey Vulture              24            277            394
Osprey                      59           1351           3520
Bald Eagle                   8            154            455
Northern Harrier            15            236            412
Sharp-shinned Hawk         192           4098           7346
Cooper's Hawk               79           1335           2189
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          2             13             20
Broad-winged Hawk            8            411            619
Red-tailed Hawk              2             29            139
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              2              2
American Kestrel            19           1038           3276
Merlin                      19            492           1005
Peregrine Falcon            20            510            823
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              3
Unknown Buteo                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              0              1
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              0              1
Zone-tailed Hawk             0              0              1

Total:                     448          10013          20279
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 06:00:00 
Observation end   time: 16:00:00 
Total observation time: 10 hours

Official Counter:        Mary Raikes

Observers:        

Weather:
Started with W(slightly NW) winds this morning, then switching to SW and S
in the afternoon.  Very clear skies and high of 72F.

Raptor Observations:
An early high flight with large kettles of turkey vultures mixed with other
raptors.  Flight was most evident to the far north of the platform. 

Non-raptor Observations:
Nice variety still on the pond including Northern Shoveler, Eurasian
Widgeon, American Widgeon, Pied-billed Grebe, Greater Scaup, Northern
Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, American Coot, and Gadwall.  Large
number of Blue Jays in the am (200), Eastern Meadowlark, Golden-crowned
Kinglet, Cliff Swallow, Purple Finch.

Predictions:
West winds 15-20mph, mostly sunny, and temps in the high 60's.
========================================================================
Cape May information may be found at:
http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/CMBO/