NYC Audubon

    
SOFO

    
Brooklyn Bird Club

    
BBG

     Long Pond Greenbelt
Date:  Oct. 5-6, 2013

Location:  Cape May Birding Trip

Reported by: Joe Giunta

Our group of 12 birders started the trip at 9:00am 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 12:30pm. This is the location of the world famous hawk watch. The weather conditions were not good for a hawk flight, too hot and winds from the wrong direction. Despite the weather we were able to see Bald Eagle, Osprey, Cooperís Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and all three falcon species, namely Peregrine, Merlin, Kestrel. Some birds made close approaches over the platform affording good looks. In front of us was one of four ponds that we would view. Here we saw many Caspian Terns, Stilt Sandpipers, many gulls including two Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Also present was one Eurasian Wigeon.

We left this venue and headed towards our motel, the Ocean Holiday Motor Inn in Wildwood Crest. Our group made a stop just before turning into the hotel. We explored a marshy area that had potential for shorebirds but we only turned up Great Egrets and Least sandpipers. 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 Stone Harbor. Here we saw some Greater Yellowlegs and a Tricolored Heron. We heard some Clapper rails but we didnít see them.  We then went to Nummy Island to see the flyout of Night Herons. About 15 Black-crowned Night-Herons flew out at exactly sunset. It was a very nice experience and a favorite for some in the group.  Next was dinner so we drove to the Two Mile Landing seafood restaurant.  No waiting and great food, canít beat that. We were back in our hotel by 9:30 and preparing for our next day.

The next morning we were on the beach at 6:30am for sunrise over the ocean. We saw three dolphins on the ocean about 100 yards out. On the beach were about 200 Sanderlings and one Red Knot, not in breeding plumage. Many Royal Terns appeared just as the sun broke the horizon. It was a nice experience to be on the beach just as the sun rises. 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 warbler flight was poor as again weather conditions were not good for migration. We did see Indigo Bunting and Northern Parula Warbler.  We left Higbee Field and headed towards the CMBO (Cape May Bird Observatory) visitorís center/nature store. In their backyard, in the mist spray device, we added Black-throated Blue and Yellow-rumped Warblers to our list. We also visited the ďmagic treeĒ which in the past held many warblers, but none this year. We went back to the Cape May Point State Park hawk platform and we saw more hawks and falcons and added Red-tailed hawk as a new species.   We left the tower and explored the trails and ponds on the landward side the tower. In this area there were more Yellow-rumped Warblers, Carolina Chickadee and some Blue-winged Teal.

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 we struck out on both. We did have views of a Savannah Sparrow, a perched Belted Kingfisher and our only flyover of a Foresterís Tern. It was our only one for the trip. It was getting late so we got back in the van and set the Tom-Tom for NYC.  We forced ourselves to leave this spot and head back to the city. After making one stop along the way we exited the van at 23rd St, NYC, a little before 7pm. A great trip had by all!



78 SPECIES SEEN

Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Tricolored Heron
Snowy Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Mute Swan
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
Gadwall
Green-winged Teal
Mallard
American Black Duck
Northern Pintail
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Ring-necked Duck
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin
Peregrine Falcon
Clapper Rail
Killdeer
Greater Yellowlegs
Red Knot
Sanderling
Least Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Laughing Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Forster's Tern
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Tree Swallow
Carolina Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
American Robin
Carolina Chickadee
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
European Starling
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle
House Finch
House Sparrow

Species seen - 78