Morning Flight – 10 September 2014

[ABOVE: Northern Waterthrush. BELOW: American Redstart. Photos by Tom Reed.]

The Higbee Dike hosted a better-than-advertised warbler flight this morning, but you had to wake up early to know it ever happened...most of the action was over by 8am. Redstarts led the way, followed by strong showings from Northern Waterthrush, Yellow Warbler, and Northern Parula. Bird Of The Day honors undoubtedly go to the Kentucky Warbler that showed its face on two brief occasions. Kevin Graff noticed the bird at sunrise, just as it bombed into the vegetation near the top of the foot path. It got up again about an hour later and briefly shot north, just above the phragmites, allowing an opportunity to see its classic black mask and yellow spectacles. This is a tough species to see in Cape May during the fall, and is almost never seen at the dike.

       Weather and time: mostly sunny and dry; 64–73 ºF; winds N->NE at 5–15 mph; <40% cloud cover throughout; excellent visibility; 0637 sunrise; 3.25 hours. Observer: Tom Reed.
       Morning Flight Count totals:
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  4
Eastern Wood-Pewee  (Contopus virens)  1
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)  41
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  7
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)  9
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)   4
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  38
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)   1
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  147
Blue-winged Warbler  (Vermivora cyanoptera)  1
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  23
Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)  1
Nashville Warbler (Oreothylpis ruficapilla)  1
Kentucky Warbler (Geothylpis formosa)  1
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  257
Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)  3
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  79
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)  2
Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca)  1
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  83
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)  7
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  2
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  10
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  9
Prairie Warbler  (Setophaga discolor)  1
warbler sp. (Parulinae sp.)  69
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  1
Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea)  1
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  4
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  65
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  31
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  6

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