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Skye Haas reports from Cape May: 



October 16: Skye Haas reports from Cape May: 

Cape May, New Jersey is the undoubtedly the capital of birding in North America, and WINGS first visit since 2014 did not disappoint! A migration tour always makes a leader a touch nervous as unlike going to a fertile breeding area or a region where hordes of birds spend their winters, there is quite the roll of the dice to see if there will be favorable conditions for migration or not. But as it turned out, we rolled a natural 20 and our days were full of birds, mirth and pleasant weather! We tallied in an impressive 151 species of birds for the week with warblers (18 species), shorebirds (25 species) as well as great raptor flights and a handful of goodies that were not on our radar. Highlights we encountered included European Wigeon, Great Cormorant, 4 Roseate Spoonbills, Hudsonian Godwits, Avocets, Blue Grosbeaks and an afternoon that was just filled with Kestrels and Merlins winging their way southward. One day we got up early and took the Lewes ferry to Delaware where we saw our only Brown-headed Nuthatches of the trip and then experienced the shorebird bonanza of Bombay Hook NWR. Another morning we boarded a flat-bottomed boat to explore the coastal salt marshes with flocks of herons and egrets as well as saltmarsh specialties like the Diamondback Terrapin. One of the true delights of this tour is how little time we spent in the van. Most of our days we birded in a five mile radius, drifting from the Morning Flight Count to the Hawk Deck to enjoying flocks of Black Skimmers on the beach in front of our inn. Cape May is an adorable resort town and our evening meals were excellent with many participants bending towards the ample local seafood . And everywhere one went, there were groups of birders enjoying their Cape May experience like us. It felt like community, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s tour.

Cape May Warbler

Broad-winged Hawk

Great Egret

Diamondback Terrapin

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Monarch Butterflies

Cape May Lighthouse

Pine Warbler

Red-eyed Vireo

Roseatte Spoonbills

Posted: October 16, 2021