Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day



Boy was it ever a slow migration weekend in Cape May.  The winds could not have been worse for kicking off “fall”. Birds depend on winds blowing from the North West in fall so that they can fly South easier. This weekend, the winds were either blowing from the South or not blowing at all. Saturday was pretty much a bust.  The guy who is officially doing the bird count at Higbee was standing on the dike all by himself most of the weekend. All of the experts knew better than to waste their time.  Not me. I went out at 0 dark 30 anyway.  My Jersey Big Year buddies Lester and John (you may remember them from Princeton - click here to re-read that post) showed up and we all went for a walk around the fields and woods. We didn't see many birds but we did find a new trail.

Today, I was lucky enough to be up on the dike at precisely the right moment and under precisely the right circumstances to see a Western Kingbird fly past.  A few birders from Sweden were there getting their first good looks at Eastern Kingbird when a different bird flew directly overhead which brought a lot of discussion and learning opportunities.  Sam got a few photos that confirmed the suspicion – Western Kingbird. The bird dove down and out of sight.  After about an hour of scouring the fields, I was joined by Harvey and the bird reappeared overhead. Coincidence? I think not.  We were also fortunate enough to call it out for another group to get a glimpse before it disappeared over the tree line. Don't laugh at this photo. The other guys didn't get much better!

Western Kingbird
Another good bird seen from the dike this morning was a pair of Kingfishers that flew past and circled back around. This one is a female which is told by having 2 stripes on the breast. The top stripe is blue and the bottom stripe is brown. I caught a pretty good shot of her. 

Female Kingfisher
Here are a few herons that caught my eye this week. The first is an immature Little Blue Heron.  That's right, I typed "blue".  They start out white as juveniles, then molt into blue as they get to breeding age. This one was itchy.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
 Here is a Green Heron at Tinicum earlier in the week. This bird flew right up to the railing about 20 feet away from me and strutted around. That is weird. I love this pose too. What a goof ball.

Green Heron




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