Cape May Trip – Part 3

This is the third part of a series of posts about my recent birding trip to Cape May, which began with Part 1 and Part 2

After our amazing time with the roosting shorebird flock, we began to head south towards Cape May. Our plan was to camp down on Cape May Island, but before it got dark, we wanted to make a quick stop at the Avalon Sea Watch to see what was moving past. It was getting late by the time we arrived at the sea watch, but birds were moving. Multiple groups of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons moved past as well as some Black and Surf Scoters, and lots of Double-crested Cormorants.

One of thousands of migrating Double-crested Cormorants we saw pass by the Cape May area during our trip. This bird is a juvenile. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Many shorebirds flocks migrated past as well, mostly Black-bellied Plover and Dunlin. We heard from the counter at the sea watch that it had been a great day for migrant herons and egrets, with nearly 600 individual herons and/or egrets migrating past. It was great to still be able to see flocks passing as the sun dropped lower and lower on the horizon. Perhaps the best moment of our time at the sea watch was when a small group of three Great Egrets passed by far to our left and the center bird had green wing tags on both of its wings. I was very excited to see this in real life, after having been told to watch out for these wing tagged birds, which had been captured, banded, and tagged on a breeding site in Canada. Here is a link to a post Drew wrote about keeping an eye out for these marked birds back in July. Another exciting moment was when 10 Snowy Egret, 10 Tricolored Heron, and 10 Little Blue Herons all passed by as a group! Photos of that as well as the more info about the sea watch that day from CMBO’s official website can be seen here.

Migrant group of Dunlin. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

A distant shot of the wing-tagged Great Egret (center bird). (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

The last awesome moment of the day was as it was getting really dark and our of nowhere, a juvenile Peregrine flew in off the ocean and right over our heads. The lighting was terrible, but I managed to fire off a few low-quality shots of the falcon as it passed over us. This was our ninth Peregrine of the day!

A juvenile Peregrine Falcon that flew over our heads at the Avalon Sea Watch as the sun was setting. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)