10 October 2011 - Morning Flight

For about the past week, morning flight at the Higbee Dike has been consistently good. The week was capped off this morning by a great flight of Yellow-rumped Warblers. Yellow-rumps totaled over 2000 today - the flight was augmented with diversity provided by lots of Blackpolls, Palms, and Parulas sprinkled with a few Bay-breasted, Pine, and Connecticut Warblers as special treats. A few recent photo highlights from the Higbee Dike follow.

An American White Pelican appeared at Cape May on Thursday evening and made some close passes over Higbee Beach on Friday morning.

It is officially October, with late fall birds like this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker moving past in numbers now.

Flocks of American Pipits are now a daily sight at the Dike - while some stop to bob around on the top of the dredge spoil, most are just heard and seen zipping over.

Blackpoll Warblers are passing through in big numbers right now. The dingy olive plumage, white undertail coverts, and flank streaking all help identify this bird (hearing a modulated "zeet" flight call helps too).

Bay-breasted Warblers are much less common at Cape May than the similar looking Blackpoll Warbler. In fall, they often have a more limey look to the green of the head and upperparts, and show a pale yellow collar. The wings often appear blacker with wider white wingbars than Blackpoll Warbler as well.

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