Brooklyn Bird Club
Long Pond Greenbelt
|Date: Oct. 2-3, 2010
Location: Cape May Birding Trip
Reported by: Joe Giunta
We started the trip at 9:30am on Saturday morning. Leaving from the Audubon Center on 23rd St. we took the van, making
one stop along the way, and arrived at the Cape May Point State Park at about 1pm. This is the location of the world famous
hawk watch. The weather conditions were good for a hawk flight. The first birds spotted were mature and immature Bald
Eagles. They were flying right over the platform. The hawks continued to come and we saw Merlins, Kestrels, Peregrines,
Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooperís Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks. We stayed on the platform for about an hour and a half.
Next we walked around the ponds that were just in front of the platforms picking up some ducks, Belted Kingfisher and
excellent views of a Marsh Hawk. We did an ocean view and we did see about four dolphins breaking water not too far out.
We left this venue and headed towards our motel, the Acacia. The motel was very pleasant and its location right on the
ocean made for a nice environment. We checked in and almost immediately left for our next venue which was the Wetlands
Institute at Shone Harbor. Here we saw some shorebirds and walked the boardwalk trail to its end seeing many egrets and
herons. The sun was starting to set and I want to get to Nummy Island. We left the Institute and drove about 10 minutes to
the free bridge entrance of Nummy Island. Here we witnessed about 50 Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night Herons
flying out from their day time roost. It was a very impressive sight. Dinner was next and we drove to the Lobster House
which was back near our motel.
The next morning we were on the beach at 6:30am for sunrise over the ocean. We were also looking for birds and did pick
up Sanderlings and Dunlin. After about one half hour we checked out of the hotel, picked up coffee and breakfast items and
headed towards the warbler platform of Higbee Field. The platform was very crowded with birders as we all anxiously
awaited a good morning flight. The warbler flight was sparse with only Yellow-rumps being seen. We left the tower and
walked the different fields searching for birds but not finding too many. We did see Red-eyed Vireo, Swamp Sparrow and
Kinglets. We left Higbee Field and headed towards the CMBO (Cape May Bird Observatory) visitors center/nature store.
Right outside of their building in some Cedar trees we found 5 warbler species including a beautiful adult male Cape May
warbler. There is nothing like seeing a Cape May warbler in Cape May. The bird was a Ďliferí for some in our group. After
picking up some information brochures and books we headed back to Cape May Point SP and the hawk watch. The
conditions were not as favorable as the previous day. We did see some hawks including one new one, Broad-winged Hawk,
for the trip. The weather started to turn against us with some rain drops beginning to fall. We left the tower and explored
the trails and ponds on the landward side the tower. We tested out our identification skills on some eclipse plumage Blue-
winged Teal and many American Wigeon.
We left Cape May Point SP, picked up some sandwiches and headed towards our last venue, Jakes Landing. This spot is
known for sparrows and rails. In the winter time itís a great spot for owls, especially Short-eared Owls. We tried to call in
both the Seaside and Saltmarsh sparrows but all we got were two birds that popped up and then disappeared. All the time we
were looking for sparrows an adult male Northern Harrier flew over the marsh. We forced ourselves to leave this spot and
head back to the city. We exited the van at 23rd St, NYC, at about 7pm. A great trip had by all!
SPECIES SEEN ~ NYCA
Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Great Black-backed Gull
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Species seen - 70