Kathy & Myles Conway
There were nine participants in all for this annual fall trip south. We were happy with our number of 108 species until I came home and looked at previous years. It is the lowest we've recorded! Part of it was that weather was not in our favor. It rained on Sunday, so we didn't return to Higbee at all. We just did Nummy and the Wetlands Institute that day. Although we added some good species at those places (Wilson's and Blackpoll, Willet, Rb Nut), we still lacked some that we usually get. Brig was okay, with low tide, so we saw Clapper, etc., in the channels, but the water in the pools had already been raised, so there were few shorebirds, and numbers of ducks had not come in yet. The hawkwatch was good, with good looks, but I don't think migration was at its peak. Highlights by day are included below.
Sept 21 – Brig had 12 Wood Duck, 2 Gadwall, 10 American Wigeon, 75 Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, 8 Pied-billed Grebe, 3 Clapper Rails, 5 Pectoral Sandpiper, 100 Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, 2 Long-billed Dowitcher, Greater Yellowlegs, 1 Caspian Tern, 120 Black Skimmer, 20 Glossy Ibis, Black Vulture, Peregrine Falcon, 1 White-eyed Vireo, 1 Marsh Wren, 1 Seaside Sparrow, 20 Boat-tailed Grackle, and 5 Savannah Sparrow.
Sept 22 – Higbee gave us 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Wood-Pewee, 1 Yellow-throated Vireo, Carolina Chickadee, Brown Thrasher, 3 American Pipit, 2 Bobolink, 2 Baltimore Oriole, 1 Black-and-white Warbler, 1 Dickcissel, American Redstart, 1 Magnolia Warbler, 2 Prairie Warbler, 5 Blue Grosbeak, 7 Indigo Bunting, and 1 Nashville Warbler.
Cape May Hawkwatch Platform and the Cape May Meadows had 15 Blue-winged Teal, 6 Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, American Oystercatcher, Pied-billed Grebe, Peregrine Falcon, Black Vulture, Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, 5 American Kestrel, Merlin, and Little Blue Heron.
Sept 23 – Nummy’s Island provided looks at American Oystercatcher, 2 Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, 1 Green Heron, 12 Black-crowned Night-Heron, Red-eyed Vireo, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1 House Wren, Brown Thrasher, American Redstart, Palm Warbler, 1 Wilson's Warbler, and 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Finally, Stone Harbor Blvd – Wetlands Institute added 1 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, 6 Northern Flicker, and 1 Blackpoll Warbler to our trip list.