View from the Cape: Early fall migration - slow but building

Late summer and early autumn is a good time to look for juvenile Black Terns at Cape May Point, but it is far less usual to see smart adults in full breeding dress here. This bird was one of three at the South Cape May Meadows on 11th
Photo by Tom Reed

An interesting mix of early migrating birds and late breeding individuals is filling our regular weekly walks at the moment. On the one hand, House Wrens continue to start new nests in local boxes, on the other hand, many of our walks are now being highlighted by small parties of Short-billed Dowitchers, Least Sandpipers and Glossy Ibises passing overhead. A recent evening walk at Avalon gave some great views of local Black-crowned Night Herons flying out from their daytime roost to feed, while the beach is starting to fill with Semipalmated Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers. A good tip if you are visiting Cape May at this time of year is to visit the barrier island beaches after 5:30PM - you will be surprised how the people melt away and hungry migrant birds finally get a chance to find somewhere to feed.

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