Topic: Late August species

I am considering a trip to Cape May the weekend of August 29-31.  Is that a good time to see migrating warblers, raptors, and other eastern birds?  I live in California, and have not birded much out east.  Does migration at Cape May vary greatly from one day to the next, or by weather?  Thanks!

Re: Late August species

The last days of August can be excellent for warbler, vireo, and other Neotrop songbird migration.  However, the weather is variable and if you don't get a coldfront during your visit, which can be separated by a week or more at that time, the pickings could be lean.  If you can, try to postpone your trip for a couple of weeks.  As summer winds down and some cool fronts push through Cape May, the chances of hitting a fallout of songbird migrants becomes better and the birding between fronts gets better because more migrants tend to stopover for longer periods of time.  Also, from mid-September to the end of the month is generally the best time for songbird migrants, and the hawks start migrating in better numbers after mid-month.

Note that the last days of August are also quite good for shorebirds in Cape May, and they continue through mid-late September.  So, those birds (and the usual Cape May birds) are always a good backup strategy.

Re: Late August species

Thanks Paul, for that helpful response.  I unfortunately have some restrictions in my travel planning, mainly that my brother from Australia will be in Maryland at the end of August, and I plan to join him for a quick birding run to Cape May.  We may have to rely on the "backup" resident birds and shorebirds, though my ideal would be for more of the migrating passerines that come through a few weeks later it sounds like.  Maybe another year...  We will hope for a cold front though. =)  Thanks again!