Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cape May Ducks

I've been a bit busy lately and haven't been able to go birding as much as I would like to (which, in case you don't realize, would be every day), and this past weekend was no different. Sure I was down in Cape May, but for other reasons that did not involve birding.

The standard lighthouse pictures. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti
So instead of running around with others on the two-day course on sparrows, I managed to grab an hour to go birding around Cape May Point to enjoy the raptors and ducks. Now, the raptors are neat but hard to get pictures of (and they aren't quite my thing), so after seeing some Yellow-rumped Warblers I knew I had to get into the winter frame of mind. I concentrated on the ducks.

Lots o' waterfowl. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti
There was quite the variety of waterfowl there, including the standard overabundance of Mute Swans. I chose not to photograph them.

Eurasian and American Wigeons. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti

Cape May, of course, is awesome for birding and anything could show up there (which the recent Vermillion Flycatcher and Whiskered Tern attest to, and no I didn't see the flycatcher), but you don't really realize it until you enter Eurasian Wigeon into eBird and find that it does not get flagged as 'rare'.

American Wigeons. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti

Back when I started birding for real I took a trip down to Cape May early in the the year. I had a bunch of fun ducks there, and I swore I saw a Eurasian Wigeon there, but thought "nah, it couldn't be" because, after all, I was just a novice birder and probably was getting it wrong. Well, if you go back and look at the records for that time on eBird, you'll see that it turns out that I probably did see a Eurasian Wigeon. Birding takes familiarity.

Mallards. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti

Lots of ducks with green heads.

Northern Shovelers. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti

And some that didn't want to show their heads (but their tails gave them away).

Ruddy Ducks. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti

Not everything on the water was a duck or goose (I'm ignoring the swans).

Pied-billed Grebe. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti

There had to have been some Blue-winged Teal there, but I didn't see any. A few Green-winged Teal were there, and I helpfully pointed them out to some people who were looking for them. I was, in turn, pointed toward a Greater Scaup hanging around the pond a bit further out and diving.

Greater Scaup. Cape May, NJ. By Damon Orsetti

But the hour went by quickly, and I even got a picture of some 'raptors'.

Lots of Turkey Vultures in Cape May, NJ, by Damon Orsetti

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