Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Warbler Fallout

Amazing, frustrating, captivating, exciting, all words that could go some way to try and describe birding at Cape May today. The winds were right to produce a fall and we weren't disappointed.

We arrived at Higbee to be greated by masses of small warblers flying out of the trees. It was amazing to watch but frustrating as I couldn't identify any of them!! There were lots of other birders on site and as the sun began to rise over the trees the birds began to settle down. Everywhere you looked there were birds. Warblers in the trees and flickers and cedar waxwings overhead.
After a while I felt confident picking out magnolia and blackpoll warblers and was pleased to id a blackburnian for myself. Didn't get the nashville or Tennesee warblers but I was happy to have them pointed out.

A quick look at the Hawk Watch yielded little at the lack of wind meant the raptors were too hight and just specks in the sky so it was back to the CMBO centre for more warblers.

The tree lined roads were jumping with birds.  Every tree seemed to be full of birds. If Carlsberg did bird flocks....

We picked up our 1st yellow rumped warblers and had crippling view of black throated blue and black and white warblers.  There were palm warblers everywhere with at least 150 by the end of the afternoon!!!

By the end of the day we had logged minimum counts of...

Northern flicker - 113
American robin - 5
Parula - 33
Rose breasted grosbeak - 2
Cedar waxwing - 190
Red eyed vireo - 23
Brown thrasher - 3
Blackburnian warbler - 4
Blackpoll warbler - 6
Philadelphia vireo - 6
Magnolia warbler - 13
Scarlet tanager - 5
Common yellowthroat - 16
Swainsons thrush - 1
American redstart - 16
White eyed vireo - 3
Black and white warbler - 19
Black throated green warbler - 2
Nashville warbler - 2
Tennesee warbler - 2
Palm warbler - 150
Red breasted nuthatch - 1
Grey cheeked thrush - 1
Ruby crowned kinglet - 3
Black throated blue warbler - 5 (3 male)
Pine warbler - 1
Cape May warbler - 5
Yellow warbler - 1
Prairie warbler - 1

An AWESOME days birding, as the locals would say :-)

Pics 1-2 Black throated green warbler 'banded' by me

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