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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Mike Fritz

September 1, 2011
CONFUSING FALL WARBLERS at HIGBEE BEACH WMA, NJ

A total of 13 members met me in the lot at Higbee for our annual trip. Winds overnight were very light and turned East, so migration was very slow in general. I heard from the morning flight counters later that there was no morning flight to speak of that morning. I took everyone out along the field edges with the goal of finding some mixed feeding flocks and working them hard for migrants. The strategy worked very well and we hit paydirt with several nice flocks. The best flock included in almost the same field of view, Worm-eating, Canada, Blue-winged, Golden-winged, and 2 different "brewster's" type hybrids! The most common warbler of the day was Black-and-whites, and they were everywhere. We added quite a few other migrants including "Trail's" Flycatchers, Baltimore Orioles, amd a Blue Grosbeak. The day got hot very quickly and bird activity was mostly done by 10am, so we ended early.

I planned on putting my boat back in the water since I had pulled it during the storm. Everyone went birding in Cape May while they waited for word from me that the boat was ready. While they waited they had some good birds including Sandwich Tern, and some people had the Eurasian Collared Doves. I then took everyone out in two groups (9 people total) on my boat to see the Brown Booby up close. Both groups had excellent views of the Booby chasing and catching needlefish as well as roosting on the channel marker. The second group we also went just out the inlet and saw several dolphins, a Sandwich Tern and a large flock of Am. Oystercatchers.

Mike Fritz
Seaville, NJ


This report was generated automatically by eBird v2 (http://ebird.org)

Cape Island--Higbees Beach SWA, Cape May, US-NJ
Sep 1, 2011 7:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Comments: I was leading a DVOC Fall Warbler Walk. Conditions were poor for migration with East winds at 5mph, but we found some mixed flocks and ended with a great list of birds. Highlights were a male Canada Warbler, a Female Golden-winged, a Worm-eating, and 2 "Brewster's" warblers including one that appeared to be a male Blue-winged back-cross. Very neat bird. At 11am I took 2 groups (9 people total) out on my boat for close up views of the Brown Booby in Jarvis Sound. We got great photos of it fishing and sitting, and the second group also added a Sandwich Tern.
46 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose X
Osprey 2
Mourning Dove 8
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1
Chimney Swift 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 1
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's) 2
Least Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 3
White-eyed Vireo 12
Red-eyed Vireo 5
Blue Jay X
Purple Martin 4
Tree Swallow X
Barn Swallow X
Carolina Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 4
Carolina Wren 7
House Wren 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Veery 2
Gray Catbird 25
Brown Thrasher 1
Cedar Waxwing 24
Ovenbird 2
Worm-eating Warbler 1
Northern Waterthrush 2
Blue-winged Warbler 4
Brewster's Warbler (hybrid) 2 one "classic" Brewster's and one that seemed a male Brewster's/Blue-winged back-cross with a nice golden cap!
Golden-winged Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 20
Common Yellowthroat 12
American Redstart 12
Northern Parula 1
Yellow Warbler 7
Prairie Warbler 2
Canada Warbler 1
Field Sparrow 3
Northern Cardinal X
Blue Grosbeak 1
Bobolink 30
Red-winged Blackbird X
Common Grackle X
Baltimore Oriole 3
American Goldfinch 4

 

More pictures of the Brown Booby from this trip are at Bert Filemyr's website http://www.thefilemyrs.com/Birding/BirdPhotographs/2011Pictures/09_01_12/09_01_11.htm

All pictures by Bert Filemyr