Three great days birding in Cape May. I particularly loved the Laughing gulls; they don’t call them “laughing” for nothing. They were everywhere and in breeding plumage.
More Laughing Gulls
A serious fellow, this Herring Gull
Red-winged blackbird landing
Black Skimmers being observed by a pair of Sandpipers
The mother lode rookery at Heislerville; it is so large that it will not fit in one frame. The Herons appear to occupy the bottom, the Cormorants the top, and the Egrets the middle.
Black-crowned night heron in bottom corner of rookery
Seaside Sparrow in the nearby marsh
Semipalmated sandpipers and Dowitchers
The large bird is an immature Great black backed gull
Yellow-crowned night heron
Glossy Ibis at the Cape May National Golf Course
The Cumberland Country Winter Eagle Festival was held this weekend in Mauricetown, NJ (near Cape May). The Glades Wildlife Refuge (shown below) is home to literally dozens of Bald eagles. Over the past two days, I personally saw at least a dozen Bald eagles as well as many Red-tailed hawks, Northern harriers, and Turkey vultures.
There were beautiful eagles almost everywhere around Cumberland County. Apparently, the habitat is almost ideal for nesting. In the sequence (four photos below), that mating pair put on quite a show. (Note: The male is on the left and the female on the right.)
The real highlight of this trip for me was meeting Pete and Linda Dunne. Pete’s is the retired director of the Cape May Bird Observatory. Pete (and Linda) are giants in the birding world, and Pete is a great writer. I think I have most all of his books, three favorites are Golden Wings, Hawks in Flight, and The Feather Quest.
This Red-tailed’s name is Aldora (“Winged Gift”); she is an “educational bird,” and she was on display as a terrific hawk ambassador at the show from the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge.
There were Turkey vultures everywhere, too.
This is Turkey Point in the Glades Wildlife Refuge.