Category Archives: Nature

A Rare Sight

WhiskeredTernMikeCrewePhoto by Mike Crewe, © New Jersey Audubon.

I saw this bird today flying around over Bunker Pond in the Cape May Point State Park. It’s a Whiskered Tern, a species native to Europe, Asia and Africa, but it shouldn’t be here. It’s the third one ever seen in North America. All three sightings are from Cape May, New Jersey, the previous two were 1993 and 1998.

Fall migration is on now, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to go birding yet. Today I was helping out at the Cape May Bird Observatory when word came of this rarity. The entire staff headed right for the door to go see it. I offered to hold the fort, and when the first staffer came back satisfied, I took the short drive to see it myself. The bird was easy to spot, a tern with mottled gray plumage, but my looks weren’t this good, CMBO staffer Mike Crewe is an ace photographer. Ten minutes of birding so far this fall, one new bird for my life list. (And the first in several years.) Pretty cool! Now I remember why we moved here…

First Summer Beach Day

EllenSpringers

Fine sunny weather today with temperatures in the mid 70s. We considered a traditional beach visit this afternoon, but opted instead for a trip to Springer’s Ice Cream in Stone Harbor, then a walk. Springers is the best ice cream around here, and only open in the summer!

EllenWading

We drove to Stone Harbor Point for a long walk along the beach there. Ellen took off her sandals and waded, I opted to keep my walking shoes on.

Oystercatcher

There weren’t many birds around other than the usual gulls, but we did enjoy a few pairs of American Oystercatchers, still looking quite sharp in breeding plumage, and nesting somewhere in the protected areas back from the beach.

NWildwoodEllen

We made it all the way to the end of the long beach, must be close to two miles, or it sure felt like it! Across the channel is North Wildwood. A nice afternoon out, summer is definitely here!

A Little Brown Bat

LBBat1

Never know what I’ll find in our woodland home. Opening the garage door this morning I found what seemed to be a dead Little Brown Bat, wet from last night’s rain. I picked it up on a dustpan and found it WASN’T dead, but very weak, just enough energy to raise it’s head and hiss at me. It must be ill, and there’s nothing I can do for it. I put it in the woods where it crawled under some leaves.

LBBat2