Two of our Phillybirdnerds are in Florida this week. Constantly texting us their latest Bald Eagle report. Bald Eagle this and Bald Eagle that. The weather report made it seem like we would see good birds in Cape May today. Rain ending on Saturday and clearing on Sunday. I was itching to go. Connie said that she would go under one condition - Mack and Manco's pizza for lunch. It was a deal!
We picked up Di and Barbara and got out of Philly by 6:30 AM. At Higbee Beach by 8:00. It was overcast and damp. The parking lot was full. More professional bird guides than unpaid birders. More birders than birds for sure.
Di and I came across a group looking at a Black Rat Snake in the tree just behind the port-o-john. We got great looks at a Brown Thrasher and 2 Northern Waterthrushes who were all upset by the snake. We met a man who coined the phrase "Flush the thrush" after a lady came out of the portapotty and let the door slam thus scaring the waterthrushes away. We really struggled for almost 2 hours walking the fields to get a few warblers. Di and Barbara got to see a Philadelphia Vireo for the first time.
We went to the Cape May Hawk Watch aka The Lighthouse around 10:30. We learned our lesson at Higbee and didn't spend too much time looking for anything that wasn't obvious. A Merlin almost took our heads off and so did a Sharpie.
Off to Ocean City boardwalk for pizza. YUM! Just like the old days. Plain cheese Mack and Manco's pizza followed up by Kohr Bros. ice cream cones. The diet starts tomorrow.
There have been reports of a Roseate Spoonbill at Forsythe NWR for a month. We went, we saw it. Bald Eagle huh? How about flipping Spoonbill? Here is the photographic proof:
It's the big pink bird with the spoon shaped bill upper right part of the photo.
What in the world? How does a Roseate Spoonbill that lives in mangroves end up in NJ?
We also got to see some of our favorite birds: Black Skimmers and American Oystercatchers. Here is a photo of the Skimmers with some gulls: