Morning Flight - Monday, September 10, 2018

The continuation of these howling ENE winds and rain have me thinking of renaming the count. As long as this weather keeps up, we are now known as the Morning Flight Songbird *Shorebird* Count!

With the exception of swallows (including our first Cliff of the season), passerines were scarce; a handful of Northern Waterthrushes were the only warblers moving around. However, the shorebird scene at Higbee was *bumping* thanks to the easterlies. Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers were back in force after several days of lower numbers, and they were joined by several White-rumps and at least one Western. A Hudsonian Godwit and an American Golden-Plover zoomed off the Bay together and flew low over the dike before disappearing to the northeast. Those birds were great in their own right, but the star of the day came when a juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper materialized overhead and dropped down onto the impoundment pool!
Words simply fail when faced with such a fine bird. 
While we we observing it, a Merlin bombed in looking for a meal; all of the peeps got up in a flock, but the Buff-breasted decided to freeze in place along the muddy shoreline! That decision required some split-second risk evaluation on the Buffie’s part, and it was fascinating to watch that scene unfold on the dike. Natural history moments abound in Cape May, even in the dreariest of weather.

Although the count ended at 8:37 today, the shorebird bonanza on the dike continued when George Myers Naturalist Rebecca Perucci found a Red-necked Phalarope up there later in the day!

As always, you can find the link to the official count on Trektellen here and the complete eBird checklist here.

Bring on Day 42!

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