Monday, October 22, 2007

My Cape May wish list

Gosh, so much to blog about, and so little time! Here’s the first post of many I need to get done today.

I mentioned in my sidebar last time I updated my blog template that my lifebird goal for the Cape May Autumn Weekend is twenty lifers. Why twenty? Several reasons. First, at the last (and first) festival I attended, I got 23 lifers on one birdwalk with the great Julie Zickefoose, so I figure 20 is a realistic goal – when you’ve seen as few birds as I have, the lifers come pretty fast. (My lifelist is at 131.)

Second, I went through my NE list of possible birds and I picked twenty that I’d really like to see. Actually, if I only saw all the warblers on this list, I’d be thrilled! But you know me—always setting ridiculously high expectations. Here’s my list, and don’t laugh at some of the common “gimme” birds on here:

Ruddy duck
Northern pintail
Blue-winged teal
Purple finch
Common goldeneye
Gull (any besides ring-billed)
Plover (any)
Sandpiper (any besides Solitary)
Scoter (any)
Pine siskin
Common snipe
Tern (any)
Warbler, Blackpoll
Warbler, Cape May
Warbler, Connecticut*
Warbler, Hooded
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, Prothonotary
Warbler, Yellow-rumped

Just this morning, a local bigtime birder I know went to Scotia Barrens and saw 75+ butter-butts, along with four other species that would’ve been lifers for me. Gees! I’ve been meaning to get out to the Barrens since late August, but it seems like my weekend mornings are always being filled with sleeping or birding somewhere else or housekeeping or just chillin’ with the bun and the kitties while reading Harry Potter or something. Sigh.

Of course, I’m leaving off these other lifers I’m hoping to see:
Sharon the Birdchick
Lynne at Hasty Brook
Laura at Somewhere In NJ
Susan at Lake Life
Amy at Wild Bird on the Fly
Patrick at The Hawk Owl's Nest
John at The Born Again Bird Watcher

I’ll be sure to get photos to confirm my IDs.


Lynne said...

I haven't even thought about life bird on this trip. The very top of my list is meeting you bloggers- the rest will be cake! I'm doing laundry today to pack, I've made my packing lists and now I'm looking for books that I'd like autographed.

jbrdmmy is your word verification! I think it's a lucky one!

dguzman said...

Lynne, that's a good idea about the books; I was wondering if the Stokes were going to be there so that I could get my field guide autographed.

I'm not too nervous yet, but it'll happen. I should probably make a packing list now, while I'm still calm....

Patrick Belardo said...

Hi Delia, I can't wait to meet everyone as well. My fiance, Beth, who has an eco-living site will be with me too. Here's my "opinions" of what you can expect from your wish list:

Canvasback - Potentially, but this one can be tough.

Ruddy duck - Very good chance at Cape May Pt. State Park

Northern pintail - Very good chance, especially if you trek up to Brigantine. You'd have to be very unlucky to miss one there.

Blue-winged teal - Very good chances

Purple finch - Excellent chance for one to fly over your head, pretty darn good chance for a nice view.

Common goldeneye - These guys tend to hang out on the bay and you have a chance to see them. Might be tough.

Gull (any besides ring-billed) - Herring and Great Black-backed are everywhere. Bonaparte's is possible. Laughing is likely, but they will be in winter plumage.

Plover (any) - Hmm... Black-bellied is almost guaranteed. Semi-palm is possible, but tough. Piping has migrated already. Golden-plover is a slim chance.

Sandpiper (any besides Solitary) - Sanderling is all but guaranteed. Yellowlegs too. There will be others like Least and Semi-palmated that should be around. Maybe a Willet too.

Scoter (any) - Great possibilities on all 3. If you go to the seawatch, you will see Surf and Black and maybe White-winged. All will be far and flying. The poor man's pelagic should give nice views.

Pine siskin - Likely to be seen flying over. Maybe seen at feeders at the CMBO book store?

Common snipe - Can be tough, but I saw one there last year on that weekend. (Wilson's Snipe is the US species now)

Tern (any) - Forster's and maybe Royal.

Warbler, Blackpoll - Possible, but many warblers are gone by now. It will be a drab winter version too.

Warbler, Cape May - Cape Mays are historically rare in Cape May (funny huh?) They are seen in much higher numbers in the fall vs. spring but it is getting late for them.

Warbler, Connecticut* - Very tough. They migrate mostly in Sept.

Warbler, Hooded - Very unlikely.

Warbler, Nashville - Possible. They migrate pretty late into the season.

Warbler, Prothonotary - This would be a very good sighting. Come to CM in the spring for easy looks at this.

Warbler, Yellow-rumped - If you don't see one, I will personally refund your money. :)

dguzman said...

Wow, thanks for the local take on my wishlist, Patrick! This is my first fall migration festival; spring ones are probably easier, huh? The plumage factor alone will make it difficult.

Patrick Belardo said...

Well, spring is a bit easier because birds are singing and in their sharpest plumage. Fall has its benefits too like loads of raptors, tons of sparrows, and the chance for something really interesting. You're going to have a blast and see a ton of birds. You have a great shot at breaking the 100 species mark for the weekend.

FranIAm said...

As a watcher of bird watchers (uh does that make me sound stalkerish?!)
I will await your return and what I am sure will be an amazing post or posts!!

Mary said...

Who cares about the birds? I'm so freaking jealous right now... Meeting ya'll would be the highlight for me. Please do some good posts so I can join the fun.

Susan Gets Native said...

I guess I will avoid you like the Plague, Delia. Since you don't want to see me.

What, no raptors on your list? Humph.

LauraHinNJ said...

Delia: Embrace sparrows - that's my advice! Glad Patrick chimed in - he knows what he's talking about.

Surpised not to see any hawks on your wish list!!

dguzman said...

Susan--how did I miss you? D'oh--I copied my blog roll and hadn't rolled you yet--will correct this heinous error immediately! You know you're on my wishlist!

Laura--sounds like that's the plan, and I'm okay with that, especially with the crappy weather.

As to the lack of raptors--I was going down my NE songbirds and shorebirds list, and so forgot about raptors. However, I'm going to the hawkwatch and the banding; perhaps I'll finally see a goshawk or some other cool bird. I just don't know much about the raptors.

dguzman said...

Oh wait--you are on my blogroll--??--I think I just missed you accidentally, Susan. Sorry! You and your raptors are definitely being added to the REVISED list...

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