It’s really looking like fall in Cape May with leaves changing, temps dropping, and winter species arriving. The overall trend this fall continued as consistent cold fronts brought northwest winds and lots of birds to Cape May. A couple impressive days that stood out were the 14th and the 17th, both followed good cold fronts that brought cooler temps and north or northwest winds to the region.

There was massive kinglet flight at the dike on the 14th. Well before sunrise, kinglets were already filtering through the bushes low along the dike. Through the morning, over 600 Golden-crowned and 400 Ruby-crowned kinglets zipped past, making it by far the highest count of the season so far.

Along with the kinglets, there was also an impressive number of Brown Creepers; over 70 flew by the dike on the 14th.

High numbers of White-breasted Nuthatches have moved south through our region this fall. They are typically a scarcer bird in Cape May, but on the 14th over 70 flew past the dike, making it the highest single day count at the dike.

Good numbers of Eastern Phoebes moved past the dike this week.

Rusty Blackbirds are starting to show up as well. Many winter in the wooded swamps around Cape May.

It’s always exciting to see scarce and little-known migrants fly past the dike like this Boat-tailed Grackle. October is a great time to catch this species on the move locally.

Western Kingbirds always cause some excitement on the dike; our second of the season flew north this week.

Looking forward to what the next few weeks have to offer; weather wise it’s shaping up to be an interesting end to the month.


Thanks for reading!

Daniel Irons

All photos by Daniel Irons