Saturday, 27 September 2014

Quiet day

After a week of full on birding, today seemed to be a bit of a slow one.
We started at Higbee Wood and although there was a reasonable warbler flight, nothing was stopping. They would land in the trees briefly before flying off high. We did manage to add two new species for the trip in the form of red headed woodpecker and yellow bellied sapsucker.
By 8am things were quiet so we headed off to do some banding.

Although it is much quieter that we are used to, it is great getting to grips with some new species. The first one today was a really nice swamp sparrow. Many of the American sparrows look pretty dull in the fieldguides but in real life and especially in the hand, they are really quite smart.
We had the now common catbirds and yellowthroats then BOOM, a black and white warbler!!!
There aren't really enough words to describe how stunning they are in the hand and I was so happy to be able to handle such a great bird. The next stunner was a blue jay with so many different shades of blue on it.

We have been banding in the garden of Richard Crossley and while we were chatting in between birds he had a text saying there was a zone tailed hawk over the Hawk Watch. I didn't realise the significance of the record but we rushed up to Richards rooftop viewing platform. We couldn't relocate the bird and I realised why Richard was gutted as it turns out to be the 1st record for Cape May!! I wasn't too gutted and it was really good to talk raptor id with Richard with an awesome view.

Ended the day with a walk on the beach and the skimmer/tern roost

Pic 1 tufted titmouse
Pic 2 swamp sparrow
Pic 3-5 black & white warbler
Pic 6-8 blue jay
Pic 9 cardinal
Pic 10 juv mourning dove
Pic 11 female black throated blue warbler
Pic 12 sunset Cape May style

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