A nice little week I had! I'm all moved in and I took a trip over the Memorial Day holiday to South Jersey where I got a whole morning to myself to go birding. I bookended a birding walk with trips to Cape May Point, and was rewarded with some birds that I was going to eventually get anyway as well as a Black Scoter and Oystercatcher.
I'll tell you, going to Cape May Point around 6:00 a.m. is a wonderful experience. There are only a couple people around (a couple of people fishing and one jogging) so the birds like the Oystercatcher aren't scared off like later in the day when there are hundreds around. The water is a beautiful dark blue only punctuated by an odd black duck with orange on its head or the many seabirds flying around. Now, these seabirds were all gulls and terns, but there are many of those that I don't have! Sadly, they were all too far out for me to get a good look (especially with my binoculars), except the obvious Herring Gulls and Laughing Gulls. I did get a good identification of Common Terns later in the day from the same spot.
The highlight of my Memorial Day weekend was the birding walk that I went on that was run by the Cape May Bird Observatory. It went through Cox Hall Creek Wildlife Management Area, which is a former (8 years ago) golf course that is now overgrown and nice for birding. We saw some nice birds there, but while some in the group were trying to see a Black-throated Green Warbler that was obviously too hidden in the high foliage, a few of us went ahead. I am glad I was one of them. One guy said he thought he may have seen a Swallow-tailed Kite flying, and one was reported in the area, so us few who are warblered out were looking around for it. I saw a gull flying over and was about to not give it a second thought, but then realized I should check it out because it had a long swallow-like tail....oh....it was the Swallow-tailed Kite! Wow, it was beautiful and a rare species to boot!
After a day like that, I had no choice but to join the Cape May Bird Observatory. Oh, I will be back there many, many times.
My weekday is oftentimes too busy for birding, so I was looking forward to this Saturday because I was slated to take part in a bird count at Evansburg State Park. A little more up in the Piedmont nearish to the foothills, it had somewhat different birds than here in The Delco (though not Black Capped Chickadees, sadly). My count was 46 birds, but a few of them were new this year, including a Louisiana Waterthrush (I keep mistyping waterthrush as "waterthrust" which is a surprisingly awesome typo that I almost always regret correcting). Oddly enough, that isn't considered a rare sighting there, but the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker was (and so was the freaking Mute Swan that another person saw).
It was a good week, and I am slowly gaining on Paul, but that will change very quickly. And, no, that is not because I will catch him no matter how big a week I'll get next week.
138; American Oystercatcher; 5/26/13; Cape May Point; Cape May, NJ
139; Black Scoter; 5/26/13; Cape May Point; Cape May, NJ
140; Purple Martin; 5/26/13; Cape May Point; Cape May, NJ
141; Indigo Bunting; 5/26/13; Cape May Point; Cape May, NJ
142; Blue Grosbeak; 5/26/13; Cox Creek WMA; Lower Township, NJ
143; Swallow-Tailed Kite; 5/26/13; Cox Creek WMA; Lower Township, NJ
144; Snowy Egret; 5/26/13; Cape May Point; Cape May, NJ
145; Common Tern; 5/26/13; Cape May Point; Cape May, NJ
146; Blue-Winged Warbler; 6/1/13; Evansburg State Park; Collegeville, PA
147; Prairie Warbler; 6/1/13; Evansburg State Park; Collegeville, PA
148; Scarlet Tanager; 6/1/13; Evansburg State Park; Collegeville, PA
149; Louisiana Waterthrush; 6/1/13; Evansburg State Park; Collegeville, PA