I suppose after reading the post about the IVORY GULL you’re wondering what came next. After all, I have been talking about this birding weekend for awhile and although the Ivory is a pretty special bird, definitely the best in Cape May right now, there were others that also drew me in.
I’ll start my story after the IVORY GULL.
After the gull, we headed over to the Northwood Center to report our sighting. Mike wasn’t there, but our friend Susan was. After showing her some of my pictures and writing a note about the gull, me and James headed off to the hawk watch.
Before we got there we stopped at lighthouse pond and had great views of a variety of waterfowl, that included:
American Black Duck
At the Hawk Watch, another one of our Cape May friends, Pete Dunne was there, along with some people inquiring about the Ivory. I gave them some info and told them to give it a go. The watch was much, much less crowded then the last time I was there so I sat down and chatted with Pete for awhile. Our conversation turned to Cape May rarities and the Swainson’s Hawk that had been hanging around. A nearby birder heard me and said it was at the Beanery (or Rea Farm whichever you prefer). We raced over there. After searching and searching and seeing a lot of vultures, we returned to the hawk watch, empty handed.
When we got to the hawk watch nobody was there. I walked onto the beach and spotted a flock of Black Skimmers-a great photo opportunity! Me and James headed down the beach. I spent 30 minutes with the skimmers, and was allowed to get pretty close. Please see my gallery for all the shots of these beautiful birds.
After the skimmers, we headed off to the Northwood Center. There was a book I had been eying before and I wanted to get it before they closed. When we got there we got into a conversation with Mike about the Swainson’s. He said it had changed location, and was no longer at the Beanery. He gave us directions to a new spot, and as we were getting into the car, Mike flew down the steps, yelled you-hoo, and then told us two people had just walked in and just seen the Swainson’s! It was back at the Beanery. They also said they would take us to the spot!! We followed them down the roads, my heart beat faster and faster, what if it flew away? But, when we got there it was sitting, perched on a tree, unfortunately in private property. I had it!! My second lifer of the day, James’s third! 2-lifer days do not come around for me a lot anymore. After a couple minutes of watching he flew down and never reappeared. Maybe catching dinner?
A great day! So many great birds, great people, and great adventures!
Please see my photo gallery for more shots of the beautiful birds seen!
Day 2 soon to come!