Fall Migrants at the Rea Farm/Cape May Point SP – September 18, 2021

Leaders: Kathy Horn, Roger Horn, Bernie Hodgdon

Temp: 75° F

Winds:  NNW 11 mph

Weather Conditions:  sunny

Due to some maintenance issues at the Beanery this week, we took our walk at the State Park. Ducks that spend the winter with us are starting to return from their breeding grounds. Many duck species will stay the entire winter, but Blue-winged Teal migrate through on their way to southern US coastal states and now is the peak time to see them here in Cape May. A beautiful duck with their large black bill arced in white, we saw several in flight, showing their baby-blue speculum, as well as some feeding in the ponds. A Merlin went streaking by and we realized it was chasing something. That something turned out to be a bat.  The Merlin dove on it repeatedly and it seemed the bat was going to successfully evade capture. But the two disappeared out of sight behind the bunker and when the merlin re-appeared, it was clutching something small in its claws, presumably the bat. Unfortunately, none of us caught this Nat Geo moment on camera!

51 species

Species Count
Canada Goose 3
Mute Swan 32
Blue-winged Teal 12
Gadwall 0
American Wigeon 6
Mallard 9
Wild Turkey 5
Mourning Dove 2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Laughing Gull 10
Herring Gull (American) 8
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2
Great Black-backed Gull 36
Caspian Tern 2
Royal Tern 10
Great Blue Heron (Great Blue) 1
Great Egret 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 5
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 1
Merlin 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
White-eyed Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 3
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 5
Carolina Chickadee 2
Tree Swallow 180
House Wren (Northern) 1
Carolina Wren (Northern) 5
European Starling 1
Gray Catbird 8
Brown Thrasher 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
Veery 4
Swainson’s Thrush 1
American Robin 3
American Goldfinch 1
Bobolink 2
Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged) 71
Common Yellowthroat 3
American Redstart 4
Magnolia Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler (Northern) 4
Palm Warbler (Western) 1
Northern Cardinal 4
Indigo Bunting 1