The weather this September has been excellent most of the time, this past week being no exception. We try to take advantage of it by getting outside for walks as often as possible, whether it be around the neighborhood…
…or down at the beach in a place like Sea Isle City, where the waves glisten in the sun and are hardly interrupted by humans except for a few waders and surfers.
This small Ghost Crab was also having a walkabout that day. Usually they duck into holes in the sand before you get a good look, but this one was wandering on the surface.
When I wasn’t able to get out walking, I enjoyed some great birds from our screened porch. There were quite a few migrating songbirds attracted to the small waterfall on our pond, including a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, an Ovenbird, a Veery, and quite a few warblers like this Northern Parula having a bath. There were three of them one day, and I caught them on video with my camera. A two minute clip is below.
On Friday I went for a walk down in Cape May at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area. A group from the Cape May Bird Observatory was at the new viewing platform in the first field, and I joined them for a while.
It wasn’t a great day for birds there, mostly residents like this Gray Catbird, not many migrants, but it was still a great morning for a walk, and I enjoyed it.
There’s lots of things for birds to eat at Higbee, including persimmons like these (though they’re much more edible after the first frost)…
…and plenty of berries like these wild grapes. Lots of seeds, too, for the birds that prefer that kind of food.
There were a number of Brown Thrashers, and I was able to get a pretty good picture of this one.
After walking the fields I took a short sand road north toward the dike, a lovely place to walk.
Didn’t see many birds there, but there were lots of migrating Monarch Butterflies everywhere, like this one feeding on Groundsel. This is the time of year when they gather in this area in large numbers, and it’s fun to see them. I predict more walks in the coming week!