Date: 10/21/19 8:32 am From: Thomas W. Reed <coturnicops...> Subject: [JERSEYBI] Cape May Fall Festival birding summary
NJ Audubon/Cape May Bird Observatory held its 73rd Cape May Fall Festival this weekend. As always, this event serves as the perfect way to showcase Cape May's migration spectacles to a wide audience. Conditions were excellent for both migration and migration viewing during Friday and Saturday, with lots of sun and gradually weakening westerlies (associated with the strong frontal passage of Wednesday night). The remnants of Tropical Storm Nestor affected the area on Sunday, bringing a soaking rain from mid-morning onward.
Naturally, with so many birders in the field there were also many highlights, and about 221 species were detected countywide during the Fri-Sun period. Some of the better finds included a notable midday trio of White Ibis, Lapland Longspur, and Western Kingbird past the Cape May Hawkwatch Friday, a flyby White-winged Dove at the South Cape May Meadows Saturday morning, and an obliging Grasshopper Sparrow along Sunset Blvd. late Saturday afternoon. There were also a couple reports of Sandhill Crane just north of the Cape May Canal and Hudsonian Godwit at Nummy Island, where 20+ Marbled Godwits continue to be found.
Raptor migration was strong Friday and fair Saturday, with good diversity both days. Songbird migration was best Friday night into Saturday as a long-awaited, post-frontal movement finally materialized on lighter winds. Cape May Point easily saw 5000+ Yellow-rumped Warblers Saturday morning and, while it is now solidly Yellow-rump season, an additional 13 species of warblers were still detected Saturday. A decent pulse of Eastern Meadowlarks and kinglets also moved through the area Saturday, along with several Vesper Sparrows across multiple locations and a Clay-colored Sparrow at Two Mile Beach.
Waterbirds finally got rolling in a big way Sunday, as southeast winds and rain agreed with about 32,000 southbound migrants at Avalon. Included in this mess were 23,000+ scoters, 5000+ Double-crested Cormorants, and nearly 1000 Green-winged Teal. Notable were 4 Black-legged Kittiwakes (all first-cycle individuals), bringing Avalon's season total to 10. Another steady waterbird flight is occurring today; follow along at https://njaudubon.org/watches/avalon-seawatch/ .
And as always, follow CMBO's Twitter account at https://twitter.com/cmbobirds for updates from all our migration watches + news on notable birds. Thanks to all who made the weekend a success!