Sunday, September 18, 2016

September in Cape May

My wife and I spent a few days in Cape May this week and I was able to see some nice birds.  Fall in Cape May is easy birding because the natural funnel that is Cape May results in the south-bound migrants all getting concentrated in this southern tip of New Jersey.  Also the weather is still very nice & the room rates are much cheaper.

For the birds, the highlight was the Parasitic Jaegers.  These ocean wanderers are drawn close to shore by the large flocks of Terns and Gulls feeding on small fish.  As their name implies, the Jaegers then harass these smaller birds into giving up their catch.  In the first photo below note the bulge in the throat of the white gull that is being chased by the darker Parasitic Jaeger.

In the second photo you see the results, as the chased bird 'gives up' its meal to the Jaeger.

There were many other fine birds seen over the 4 days here.  Highlights were Brown Pelicans, and Yellow-Breasted Chat, and Philadelphia Vireo.