Oct, 2016 - Cape May, New Jersey

 I missed most of the fall migration on the east coast because I was on the west coast.  When I got back to PA, I needed to spend some quality time with the house, buying a new HVAC system, so that we wouldn't freeze this winter.  I did get to Cape May on a day when the raptors were flying through.  There were lots of Broad Wing Hawks, Eagles, Coopers Hawks, and Sharp-shins.  The people on the platform were pleasant and helpful, but I had my most enjoyable hour on a dock at one of the isolated ponds along the hiking trails.  I started off on the dock by myself, but was joined by an expert hawk watcher, and about fifteen minutes later by another expert hawk watcher.  We spent over a half hour, practicing identifying the hawks as they flew through and discussing why we made the ids.  They let me go first a lot, and after thirty or forty practice ids, I started to nail most of them.  It was really nice of these two fine birders to share their expertise.

Here are some of the birds and bugs that I saw while tramping around the swamp:

 

Northern Flicker, Cape May, NJ, October, 2016

 

 

Two Merlins in a distant tree, Cape May, NJ, Oct, 2016

 

And some of the many insects: