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!


best,
tr


--
Tom Reed
Reed's Beach NJ


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