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Stop 5 - New Jersey : CAPE MAY SP, HIGBEE BEACH WMA, BELLEPLAIN SF

The following page is devoted to my roadtrip photos of birds from a few locations around Cape May, New Jersey. Clearly, I did not photograph every kind of bird that can be found at Cape May, but I have provided a selection of some of my favorite photos of the birds I did happen to see as I passed through.

Birds I saw at Cape May Area, New Jersey

May 9-14, 2008

From the warm beach and Painted Buntings of South Carolina, I headed north for Cape May, a well-known migration site on the southernmost tip of New Jersey. Cape May is especially famous for the volume and variety of birds that pass through during fall migration, usually stopping to refuel and rest before continuing southward over the Atlantic Ocean. Cape May can also be filled with birds during spring migration, especially when the conditions are right (southwesterly winds that trigger a migration over the region are ideal). In the Spring, birds that began their flight the evening before reach Cape May in the early morning and stop to refuel before continuing their northward migration.

I arrived at Cape May in a severe wind and rainstorm that lasted a couple of days. I enjoyed the nicer weather that followed the storm, but unfortunately there was a north wind over the East Coast that continued to put bird migration at a near standstill. Even so, I still managed to find a number of resident birds and migrating stragglers at the popular Cape May State Park and Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area as well as at Belleplain State Forest (which hosts more nesting birds) about an hour to the north of Cape May. I eagerly stalked some robins, starlings, and house finches around the parking lots, as these familiar and common birds had been relatively scarce in the southern states (and it was also my goal to get a decent photo of every kind of bird I saw at each location I went to on my travels). My camera seemed drawn to the yellow birds, as my favorite photos included a Yellow-breasted Chat, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Pine Warbler, and White-eyed Vireo. I also saw some waterbirds and shorebirds in the Cape May area that, although all of them are common, I did not see anywhere else during my travels, such as a Glossy Ibis, Domestic Muscovy, Least and Solitary Sandpipers, and Surf Scoter.

After Cape May, I headed west to Warblerville at Magee Marsh on Lake Erie, as well as several other birding hotspots around the Great Lakes.

BLACKBIRD:
    Red-winged
BUNTING:
    Indigo
CARDINAL:
    Northern
CATBIRD:
    Gray
CHAT:
    Yellow-breasted
CHICKADEE:
    Carolina
COWBIRD:
    Brown-Headed
CROW:
    American of Fish
CUCKOO:
    Yellow-billed
DOVE:
    Mourning
    Rock (brown adult)
EGRET:
    Great
FLYCATCHER:
    Acadian
GNATCATCHER:
    Blue-Gray
GOOSE:
    Canada

GRACKLE:
    Boat-tailed
GROSBEAK:
    Blue
    Rose-breasted
GULL:
    Laughing
    Ring-billed ?
IBIS:
    Glossy
KILLDEER
KINGBIRD:
    Eastern
MALLARD
MARTIN:
    Purple
MOCKINGBIRD:
    Northern
MUSCOVY:
    Domestic
ORIOLE:
    Baltimore
    Orchard
OSPREY
OVENBIRD
PARULA:
    Northern
ROBIN:
    American

SANDERLING
SANDPIPER:
    Least
    Solitary
    Spotted
SCOTER:
    Surf
SPARROW:
    Chipping
    Field
    House
    Song or Lincoln's ?
STARLING:
    European
SWALLOW:
    Barn
SWAN:
    Mute
SWIFT:
    Chimney
TERN:
    Forster's
    Least
THRASHER:
    Brown
THRUSH:
    Wood
TITMOUSE:
    Northern Tufted

TOWHEE:
    Eastern
VEERY
VIREO:
    Red-Eyed
    White-Eyed
VULTURE:
    Turkey
WARBLER:
    Black-and-White
    Black-Throated Green
    Blue-Winged
    Magnolia
    Pine
    Prairie
    Wilson's
    Yellow
WAXWING:
    Cedar
WOODPECKER:
    Downy
WREN:
    Carolina
YELLOWTHROAT:
    Common

KEY:      favorite photos      SONGBIRDS  WATERBIRDS  RAPTORS & OWLS/NEAR PASSERINES  HUMMINGBIRDS & WOODPECKERS


Red-winged BLACKBIRD (male)
Cape May area

Red-winged BLACKBIRD (female)
Cape May area

Indigo BUNTING
Cape May area

Northern CARDINAL
Cape May area

Gray CATBIRD
Belleplain State Forest

Yellow-breasted CHAT
Cape May area

Carolina CHICKADEE
Cape May area

Brown-headed COWBIRD (male and female)
Cape May area

American or Fish CROW
Cape May area

Yellow-billed CUCKOO
Belleplain State Forest

Mourning DOVE
Cape May area

Rock DOVE (brown adult)
Cape May area

Great EGRET
Cape May area

Acadian (?) FLYCATCHER
Belleplain State Forest

Canada GOOSE
Cape May area

Blue-gray GNATCATCHER
Belleplain State Forest

Boat-tailed GRACKLE
Cape May area

Blue GROSBEAK (1st summer male)
Cape May area

Blue GROSBEAK (female)
Cape May area

Rose-breasted GROSBEAK (female)
Cape May area

Laughing GULL
Cape May area

Ring-billed GULL
Cape May area

Glossy IBIS
Cape May area

KILLDEER
Cape May area

Eastern KINGBIRD
Cape May area

MALLARD (male)
Cape May area

MALLARD (female)
Cape May area

Purple MARTIN (male and female)
Cape May area

Northern MOCKINGBIRD
Cape May area

Domestic MUSCOVY
Belleplain State Forest

Baltimore ORIOLE (female)
Cape May area

Orchard ORIOLE
Belleplain State Forest

OSPREY
Cape May area

OVENBIRD
Belleplain State Forest

Northern PARULA
Cape May area

American ROBIN
Cape May area

SANDERLING
Cape May area

Least SANDPIPER
Cape May area 
note the yellow-greenish legs, unique among peeps

Solitary SANDPIPER
Cape May area

Spotted SANDPIPER
Belleplain State Forest

Surf SCOTER
Cape May area

Chipping SPARROW
Belleplain State Forest

Field SPARROW
Cape May area

House SPARROW
Cape May area

Song or Lincoln's (?) SPARROW
Cape May area

European STARLING
Belleplain State Forest

Barn SWALLOW
Cape May area

Mute SWAN
Cape May area

Chimney SWIFT
Cape May area

Forster's** TERN
Cape May area
**note the tail projecting beyond wingtips, black on orange bill, white belly compared to gray belly of Common Tern

Least TERN
Cape May area

Brown THRASHER
Belleplain State Forest

Wood THRUSH hiding in woods
Cape May area

Northern Tufted TITMOUSE
Cape May area

Eastern TOWHEE
Belleplain State Forest

VEERY
Cape May area

Red-eyed VIREO
Cape May area

White-eyed VIREO
Cape May area

Turkey VULTURE
Belleplain State Forest

Black-and-white WARBLER
Belleplain State Forest

Black-throated Green WARBLER
Belleplain State Forest

Blue-winged WARBLER
Belleplain State Forest

Magnolia WARBLER
Cape May area

Pine WARBLER
Belleplain State Forest

Prairie WARBLER
Cape May area

Wilson's WARBLER
Cape May area

Yellow WARBLER
Cape May area

Cedar WAXWING
Belleplain State Forest

Downy WOODPECKER
Cape May area

Carolina WREN
Cape May area

Common YELLOWTHROAT
Cape May area
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