Today, is the day after yesterday....which was a stellar birding day for me at Cape May....(See previous post). Was I tempting fate by returning to Cape May and looking for another stellar birding day? I think not, for remember cowboys and girls, this is South Jersey during Spring Migration and nothing can be taken for granted. Who knows what will show? Deb decided not to go with me and slept in so I was on my own.
According to Ebird...the Swainson's was not around or at least not reported but I was thinking of returning to Higbees and seeing if there was any crowds standing around any one particular area and if so, chances are it would be where the Swanson's was.
So, off I went.....and got into Higbee just shy of 9....plenty of time. A bit cool, no rain...... So off I went. Again, like yesterday there was a deluge of Indigo Buntings and Eastern Kingbirds, but no large crowd to point my way to the Swanson's. I asked a few folks and no one saw or heard or I might add, no one knew where FIELD 1 was either...... Cape May, HINT: Mark your Fields at Higbee.
Well....what do to? I didn't want my day to be the same as yesterday so I opted to get in my car and to go south, just a bit as I didn't want to end up in the ocean. I put on the brakes near The Meadows and decided to see if I could find any Common Snipes. I 'clockwised' the path as opposed to 'counterclockwising' the path and took the turn up to the platform. Right over my head flew my first Common Snipe. An odd looking bird in flight. If it was a human 'running' I would say it takes 'baby steps' but since it is a bird in flight, I suppose it takes babyflaps. (A not so smooth chunky looking bird in flight working twice as hard to get from Point A to B....)
Around the ocean bend I went and ran into a couple of folks from Oregon. Now...I lived all but three years of my life in the Pacific Northwest so I was excited to see someone who could talk my language. For instance, Oregon is pronounced more like "Organ' ...instead of 'Or-i-gone' as I hear people out here pronounce that lovely state. ....So we chatted and I chased them up near BellePlain and Forsythe for more birding. Again, nice to see some Northwesterner's out here enjoying the world class birding that Jersey has to offer. I must admit, my heart belongs in the Northwest but 'birding' back west doesn't share a candle to that in Jersey.
So....not much going on at the Meadows except a few Yellowthroat and Field Sparrows although the latter were busy copulating. In between the time I was attempting to focus my bins and when I did, I missed it....
Well, since I was so close to Cape May State Park I decided to venture on in and meander on over to my favorite spot on the trail. I found out a few years ago that the best spot on the trail around Bunker pond is about half way in. There is a meadow with tall stands of trees, perfect for Warblers and the like.
I went in....... Then immediately say a young family with a few kids. Hmmmm...kids or dogs, which one is worse? Of course I hope to get my grandsons into birding so I have to think, not all kids are bad. Well, these kids just passed on thru with their grandpa leaving me alone in my meadows. It wasn't long before I saw my first 'yellow'....Bingo...Magnolia Warbler. It flirted around the cedar tree in front of me. Nice, real nice.
Second 'yellow'....Yellowthroat. Third 'yellow'....Chat. No chatting, but a Chat. Another 'yellow'....wait, what is that? A Baltimore Oriole? Kerching, nice.... I followed that one for quite sometime as it was after the caterpillars in their spiderweb like homes. It pulled it out one by one and gutted it looking for the juicy protein inside and then just dropped the carcass down to the ground. Another couple came by and we begin noticing two more Baltimore Orioles. All told, papa, mama and juvenile. Nice....
A couple of other folks came up, one with a large camera and he started ticking off shots. Other birds started to show including a Black and White Warbler, Carolina Wrens, Yellow Warblers, Bewicks, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Yo man, jackpot in my favorite end of the trail. I love Orioles and to see a cross-generation of them as in had here was awesome.
Coming close to noon now and things starting to slow......I made way to the observatory once more to see if the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were still hanging but no...in fact the entire place was pretty quiet. Funny, so stalked with birds yesterday and so empty today. Go figure, birding! But I did manage to go inside and ask them where Field 1 was at Higbee. I didn't get an answer but I did get a small map which showed where the location of the field numbers were. Okay, I am good to go.
Plenty of birds in two days and now, I know where Field 1 is at Higbee.