Thursday, January 1, 2015

If at first you don't succeed...

Well, last year's experiment turned out to be a total dud, but a new year means a new effort, so here we go again. Today's photos were taken while participating in the Cape May Bird Observatory's "Kick Off Your Year List" event -- a great day with good friends and more than 75 species of birds.

Do geese party on New Year's Eve? These guys looked decidedly hung over... Sleeping in, perhaps?
 
The first sunset of 2015

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fireworks

Heading for the airport again today, I was struck by how quickly buds are now breaking on some of the trees here. The maples are suddenly scarlet, already foreshadowing their fall splendor.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

A good brew

I learned early on in life that there are few things that beat a good mug of beer. Fortunately, the guys at Cape May Brewery learned the same thing -- and they've been making some fabulous brews for a few years now. Thursday nights at the brewery have quickly become a tradition for the Cape May birding community...



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Snipe hunt

When I was just a little kid, the big kids in my neighborhood found my natural history knowledge very frustrating. They couldn't send me out with a sack to catch the "furry snipes that ran around in the woods at night" because as a keen little birdwatcher, I already knew that story was total rubbish.  Here's a real snipe in action -- a Wilson's Snipe foraging along the edge of a wet spot in the corner of a field near our house.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Night and day

Cape May's harbor is pretty much entirely man-made. The little creek that once emptied the marshes at the southern end of the peninsula is long gone, brutally grubbed out and expanded. The US government spent well over $1,000,000 more than a century ago, when such funds went a lot further, to build the harbor and its long jetties. On most days, (like this evening) the harbor is flat and placid, dotted with a mix of working boats and pleasure craft. The waterfowl that covered its surface for much of the winter are nearly all gone, and the first few migrant sailboats are anchored along the fringes, resting overnight on their way back north after a winter in the tropics.



Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring, bursting

Thanks to the continuing frigid air -- and attendant snow -- over the east coast while I basked in Costa Rica, nothing in New Jersey looks much different than it did when I left two weeks ago. At least a few spring flowers (the cultivated kind) are poking their heads up in the garden. The birds are belting out their songs from treetops and fence posts all over Cape May, and the first migrants are beating their way northwards. We had Snowy and Great Egrets flapping hard against the north winds this morning, crossing the bay from Delaware to New Jersey, and most of the big scoter flocks are gone, on their way to the high arctic for the summer.



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lights of home

There's nothing as homey as the lights of your own house beckoning to you when you've been away for a while.  I'm looking forward to being home for a bit!