Morning Flight, 4 October 2016

I woke up just after midnight and heard the calls through the closed windows.  Staying up and listening until 3 AM at a few spots around Cape Island, like Beach Ave near the Cape May Convention Center and near the Cape May Lighthouse, was really fun and rewarding.  

The skies were clear last night but plenty of birds were calling low over the area.  There were a great diversity of birds by the sound of it and sparrows, buntings, warblers, and thrushes were still landing when I arrived to Higbee Beach at 6:15 AM.  44 minutes later the sun lit somewhere behind the very usual-for-this-year eastern clouds...  today they appeared as impressive and giant structural pillars, castles, fortresses, monasteries.  The light and lighting was notably "cooler" than it appeared at dawn a month ago. 

Today the flight launched as swiftly and chaotically, as it also died down, but this was one of those special days where the first hour seems to last all morning.  A really nice diversity passed and many looks were spectacular!  Moment to instant moment, ooh to ahh, cool birds swept through-- Red-headed Woodpecker, 307 Northern Flicker, Eastern Kingbird, Philadelphia Vireo, 634 Cedar Waxwing, 33 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2 Dark-eyed Junco, 5 Scarlet Tanager! 

3759 total northbound warblers of 17 species (I know I must've missed Connecticut, and like at the dike we know, "who knows what else?") with 2711 warbler sp. (mostly to the east and also higher warblers all over the sky), 331 Palm (including some ""Yellow" Palm), 308 Yellow-rumped, 156 Blackpoll, 72 Black-throated Blue, 71 Northern Parula, plus 6 Pine Warbler-- of which these flew very close to sunrise. 

Huge respect and gratitude go out to The Warbler Guide co-author, Scott Whittle, and Nature Center of Cape May's very own fantastic teacher, Sam Wilson, for helping me out today.  We couldn't have done it without our great team!

This is a list y'all:

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