Saturday, April 4, 2009

Impromptu Cape May

My day started at 6:45 AM. My ice hockey team made the playoffs for the first time in 10 years which meant that we played at 8:15 AM in Aston. Since this is a birding blog, I'll cut to the chase - we won 4 - 0 and I scored the 4th goal which is VERY unusual. And, it was a good goal, not a fluke.

OK, now to the birding. I was home by 11:00, showered and bored by noon so I proposed a trip to Cape May to Connie. She accepted and off we went. We were at Turkey Point by 2:00 even after getting lost. Good stuff in the mud flats including Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs - which were good to study side by side. And a thousand Dunlin swirling in flight, some coming into breeding plumage with the dark belly blotch. Also ducks, gulls, and actual turkeys at Turkey Point.

Off to Cape May and the Concrete Ship. We got really close looks at Gannets which I assume was due to the monster wind blowing due North directly onto the point. Red-throated and Common Loons still not in breeding plumage (which I was kind of hoping for).

At the lighthouse we saw our first warbler of the year - Yellow-rumped - flitting around the bushes. And we actually got to use my new BirdPod to identify Fish Crows by call. We didn't walk the trails because it was getting late and we were tired of the wind. The ponds behind the dunes held some good ducks including Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Shovelers, and Widgeons. Also Rough-winged Swallows.

We had time to walk the Nature Conservancy's Migratory Bird Sanctuary which everyone calls "The Meadows"(you can see why) before we had to meet Biggie and Janette for dinner. They tore it all up last year and pulled the phragamites out, reconstructed the ponds for better water levels, improved the paths etc. It was brutally windy but we saw Osprey, Blue-winged Teal and others. I was surprised that Blue-winged Teal was my 501th bird in eBird. I guess I never entered it before although I have seen them several times in the past.

That's all for now. Wish me luck in the championship game on Sunday!
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