Morning Flight – 13 September 2014

First, we have to savor over yesterday. It was one of those great Cape May days. There was a substantial flight at the dike with a nice diversity of species (see yesterdays entry for the totals). Then, Cape May got its and the USA's third-ever Whiskered Tern!

Today there was a small but fun-to-watch movement at the dike with birds continuing to move, a little, on northeast winds. If the rain is not to heavy tonight in the region we could be in for another exciting day AT THE DIKE TOMORROW with strong north winds forecast

Weather and time: sun and clouds; 67–75 ºF; winds NE at 5 mph for H1; ENE at 8-10 mph for H2; ENE at 10-15 mph; 50% cloud cover H1; 80% cc H2; 95% cc H3; very good visibility; 0639 sunrise; 3.25 hours.
       Morning Flight Count totals 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  3     2 south, 1 north
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)  4
Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus)  1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  1
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  20
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  30     23 north, 7 south
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  35
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  5
Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)  4
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  42
Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)  3
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  38
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  4
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  1
Bay-breasted/Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga castanea/striata)  1
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  2
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  6
warbler sp. (Parulinae sp.)  12
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  1
Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea)  3
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  4
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  108     2 north, 106 south
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1

Today's full list can be viewed at:

One of the drabbest and trickiest birds to ID at the dike: female Black-throated Blue Warbler
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Tennessee Warbler
Northern Parula

This Merlin has a full crop and probably enjoys morning flight even more than I do!
Cameras are amazing! This is a record shot of a Common Loon over 1 mile away flying north up the Delaware Bay, as seen from the dike.
Lesser Yellowlegs and a small suite of other waders have enjoyed the influx of dredge material to the top of the Higbee dike impoundment.
In other news... Did you see WHISKERED TERN in the last two days!?!? What a cooperative bird, regularly patrolling Bunker Pond for food, especially odonates (dragonflies and damselflies).

I was on the Cape May Point State Park beach yesterday afternoon with Morning Flight counter alumnus Tom Johnson, waiting for that special tern to come and rest on the beach, when this adult Little Gull surprised us and shot over toward Delaware! (Photos by: Glen Davis)

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