Today the regular group headed south down to Edwin B. Forsythe a/k/a Brigantine to look for some early returning migrants. When we arrived the gate was closed ! ....and many a birder besides us were also taken by surprise. I see the Refuge opened later, perhaps the Gate Timer was already set for the Time Change later tonight ?
Nevertheless we walked around a bit enjoying the birds outside the refuge and got our first of season Eastern Phoebe, and my earliest ever record...so thanks again, El Nino ! We also had our first Tree Swallows of 2016.
Just a few miles away we stopped in Absecon for the pair of over-wintering American Avocets, and these were easy to find.
Credit: Larry Scachetti
We then continued on another hour south to Cape May. Here we started at the State Park/Lighthouse and here we saw the Eurasian Wigeon among other species like Mallard, Black Duck, Gadwall, Pintail, Coot, American Wigeon, Canvasback, etc. On the beach we saw American Oystercatchers, and Black-Bellied Plovers. A stop at the Beanery yielded several Rusty Blackbirds. At the South Cape May Meadows we spotted the Blue-winged Teal.
Our final stop was up at the Miami Avenue spot in the Villas. Here we saw Forster's Terns, Laughing Gulls and my friend Bill E, a Scot, lent his experience in finding the Black-Headed Gull.
Every day will now have new migrants coming in !!