Avalon Seawatch, 1 December 2016

The weather, albeit much better than yesterday, began cloudy and chilly with low winds that increased in speed as the day progressed.  The wind blew from the west throughout the day, a direction that generally yields lower bird counts, which proved to be true today.  The total individuals counted today was 4,451, with the top 3 species being red-throated loon, double-crested cormorant, and northern gannet.  There was a nice variety of shorebirds present today.  37 black-bellied plovers flew by, and nearly 100 of both sanderling and dunlin were hanging out.  Notable moments from the day was a female eider that flew by for a great close up look, and 6 tundra swans that flew south late in the day!

The chart below reflects the data collected today.  Only 3 weeks of the sea watch left!!! Join us until then, sunrise to sunset, between 8th and 9th street in Avalon.


Avalon Seawatch count for 12/1/2016
Species
Count today
Season total
Season maximum

Count
Date(s)

7
1283
246
10/24/2016

70
165314
15583
11/24/2016

37
275
114
10/13/2016

2
1853
795
11/14/2016

1
3348
1803
11/21/2016

23
1168
316
11/22/2016

3
67
9
11/19/2016

5
1363
376
10/24/2016

1628
143736
10151
10/11/2016

4
757
48
10/21/2016

1
7278
1758
10/27/2016

1
1485
197
11/24/2016

1
281
144
11/22/2016

325
50604
6143
11/24/2016

6
462
101
11/24/2016

1999
52438
7293
11/24/2016

24
6148
1515
11/22/2016

24
36008
6858
11/7/2016

167
86539
10310
11/1/2016

97
30308
4115
11/1/2016


Avalon Seawatch, 30 November 2016

The fog today imposed horrible visibility, which made sea-watching nearly impossible.  With 100% cloud coverage and fog, the end of the jetty was barely visible.  The wind was very low and blew from the southeast for most of the day.  Only 46 birds were observed today with the peak species being black scoter and brant.  

Check out the table below to see the breakdown of bird species observed today:

Avalon Seawatch count for 11/30/2016
Species
Count today
Season total
Season maximum

Count
Date(s)

23
165244
15583
11/24/2016

16
2361
305
11/23/2016

1
1358
376
10/24/2016

1
19173
1592
11/1/2016

1
6124
1515
11/22/2016

2
1437
240
11/1/2016

2
86372
10310
11/1/2016


Fun fact: the total number of birds seen so far this season at seawatch is nearly 690,000! Join us everyday, sunrise to sunset, between 8th and 9th street in Avalon.  

Hawkwatch, 27-29 November 2016

We're nearing the end of the season and what a stellar season it has been! November 27th and 28th provided us with good flights of Red-tailed Hawks and Red-shouldered Hawks, as well as few late season American Kestrels. Late November isn't typically part of the season where masses of raptors are seen, however the birds that are seen at the end of the season can be quite nice. A Northern Goshawk was icing on the cake for the past few days' flights. Red-tailed Hawks flew by showing off their own unique plumage, some more colored and heavily-marked than others. This time of year the Northern Harriers stream by often heading southwest, hugging low over the dunes as they do their best to avoid being detected by the hawkcounter. Sunday morning was an exceptionally special treat as nearly 6,000 Common Grackles and 2,000 Red-winged Blackbirds flew past the platform! One very late Broad-winged Hawk was also seen on Sunday.

Today's flight was quiet. A few Cave Swallows are still lingering and a few Greater Yellowlegs flew by. The strong south winds and intermittent rain put a pause to today's raptor migration.

Tomorrow marks the last official day of the 2016 Cape May Hawkwatch.  It would be great to see you at the hawkwatch! Should you stop on by, be sure to bring your rain jacket.

Cave Swallow.

Carolina Wren and White-throated Sparrow.

Common Grackles galore with a few Red-winged Blackbirds, from Sunday morning.

Dark-eyed Junco

Early morning frost atop the hawkwatch.

A tagged Monarch flying by!

Sometimes the local Northern Mockingbirds help us scan the skies.
Recently they have been fluffed up, staying warm.


Sunday's sightings.

Monday's sightings.

Today's sightings.

Avalon Seawatch, 27 November 2016

The seawatch today continued to show a slow flight of migrating seabirds.  The weather was mild and pleasant and the visibility was fantastic.  Bottlenose dolphins gave us a good show in the morning and they continued to be active throughout the day.  Black scoters flew by consistently all day in small flocks.  At the very end of the day we had a very nice push of red-throated loons.  In 5 minutes we had about 500 fly by, which doubled our count of red-throated loons for the whole day.

An exciting moment of the day was observing a group of 6 snow buntings hanging out on the jetty!  We have been seeing a small group of 3 snow buntings consistently for about 2 weeks, so it was exciting to see more of them around!

 The total number of birds counted today was 4,223 with red-throated loon, black scoter, and double-crested cormorants being the top species observed.  Below is the full set of data collected today.  Join us between 8th and 9th street in Avalon, everyday between sunrise and sunset.


Avalon Seawatch count for 11/27/2016
Species
Count today
Season total
Season maximum

Count
Date(s)

1
292
49
10/24/2016

17
1197
246
10/24/2016

1203
158788
15583
11/24/2016

47
2330
305
11/23/2016

1
3335
1803
11/21/2016

3
58
9
11/19/2016

1
1344
376
10/24/2016

206
141470
10151
10/11/2016

1
702
48
10/21/2016

2
584
101
11/5/2016

1
7212
1758
10/27/2016

1
260
144
11/22/2016

17
46852
6143
11/24/2016

8
333
101
11/24/2016

1363
47640
7293
11/24/2016

29
5762
1515
11/22/2016

200
34403
6858
11/7/2016

479
84207
10310
11/1/2016

643
29487
4115
11/1/2016