Why is it I plan such lengthy trips to far away places to try and see new things when I haven't visited many of the attractions that are so near to me? I have lived in Pennsylvania all my life,
30+ of those years in southeastern Pa. and yet I have never taken the time to visit Cape May, New Jersey!! ...not until this past weekend! In a little over two hours we were pulling into the parking lot to join a bird walk.
Our bird walk was meeting at the Migratory Bird Refuge, which is near Cape May Point State Park, at 7:30 am. We arrived a little early and met some of the other birders including our bird walk leader Pete Dunne, a well-known author and expert on birds and birding.
We were heading out to the beach to visit some nesting Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers. The weather was over cast and a little rainy but comfortable. We were visited by a few Meadowlarks and several terns as we walked toward the beach.
A beautiful Great White Egret met us as we approached the top of the dunes.
We were lucky to see many different shore birds, along with those that were nesting...but the bird that created all the high fives and ya-hooing by our group was the Swallow-tail Kite. Three of them gracefully soared over our heads as we stood and watched in awe. They are small hawks, black and white with blue-black under parts. A very striking bird and apparently one that is not seen too often in Cape May.
Upon spotting them one of our bird leaders was instantly 'twittering' the info ..telling ALL that not ONE but THREE Swallow-tails had been spotted!! A record for Cape May birders!!
After the excitement of the Swallow-tails we were graced by the appearance of this Little Blue Heron. An immature in transition, but oh, what beautiful blue-blacks and gray hues against those heron whites! He was with two other Little Blues but he was definitely the most attractive one!
and when I looked down into the water near the board walk, I spotted this Least Sandpiper quietly getting its breakfast..what a name, I wouldn't want to be called least..
As we were ending our bird walk we came across a lake filled with Mute swans! Several families were paddling around together...
Mom was demonstrating how to forage the lake's bottom for food but several of the little ones still seemed a little puzzled about the whole process.
weekend with family
2 years ago