Topic: Some Spring Sightings

On Sunday, April 2nd, I birded Belleplain, Higbee Beach, and the CMBO Northwood center and the area around it. At Belleplain, around the Cedar Bridge Road area, I was delighted to see a warbler on a tree branch that stretched out over the road. I'm not totally sure, but I think it was a blue-winged warbler. I think blue-winged warblers were present and calling all throughout the park. Again, I'm really not sure if they were really blue-winged warblers..I'm actually a little new at IDing warblers..if anyone is a warbler expert and knows what species of warblers are very common at Belleplain during this time of the year, maybe you could help me to ID the warbler with more certainty....I also spotted a RB nuthatch around the bridge area. Are Sunset Road and Cedar Bridge road the best places to bird in Belleplain or are there any other good areas? After Belleplain, I headed for CMBO Northwood Center. Around the nearby lake I found a HUGE flock of beautiful cedar waxwings! There was one tree at the shore of the lake that was VERY popular with the waxwings as well as some golden-crowned kinglets and black-capped chickadees that were also present. The tree had small red buds on it that the birds were eating. I don't know what type of tree it was but I wish I did. The tree was not very large like a maple tree....It was one of the shorter trees...Probobly about 10-15 feet in height. After CMBO, I ended the day at Higbee Beach. I didn't see a very large variety of birds but a couple goodies though. Close to the parking lot, there were some more Golden-Crowned Kinglets and what I believed to be a blue-gray gnatcatcher. The look that I got at the gnatcatcher was from a slightly far away distance but it did look liek a "miniature mocking bird" and had a long tail and was slightly blue-grey in color so I am guessing that it was probobly a gnatcatcher. If anyone else has seen some good warblers or other great songbirds at Higbee or any area in Cape May, please post a reply to let me know!

Last edited by ststern1 (2006-04-06 15:35:24)

Re: Some Spring Sightings

Hey there!
We were also in Belleplain on Sunday morning-sorry we missed you!
The warblers that we have been seeing since Sunday are Pine Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler,  and Louisiana Waterthrush. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers made their first appearance (for us) on Sunday as well at both Belleplain and at Peaslees Wildlife Management Area.
The trees you were talking about....could they have been the Maple Trees that are in bloom right now? I have been noticing lots of mixed flocks of birds (Pine Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, Gold-crowned Kinglets, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yelow-rumped Warblers) in these trees that seem to be feeding on the flowers of the Maple trees, but I think the birds are in fact feeding on the small insects that are nectaring on the tree flowers! The chickadees you saw were most probably the Carolina Chickadees.
The Cape May Bird Observatory has  walks in the Belleplain State Park on Saturdays, Thursdays, and Monday mornings to show you many wonderful access  areas to bird in Belleplain. They usually meet in the Belleplain State Forest Field Office parking lot at 7:30 in the morning  on those days-but you can call the Cape May Bird Observatory for specifics at either 861-0700 or 884-2736.  The leaders are familiar with the birds and their songs and would be happy to help you get a handle on them. Many of the leaders have knowledge of the flowers and trees you see in Belleplain as well.  Many of the other songbird  species will be arriving in the next several weeks- you sure did choose the right place to see alot of birds! Good Birding and I hope to see you out there!

Last edited by Karen (2006-04-05 15:39:57)

Re: Some Spring Sightings

ststern, I am confident that the bird you saw at higbee was indeed a blue grey gnatcatcher. I was at higbee on Sat. morning and saw my first one of the season there. As for Belleplain, can't help you out there, I took a quick drive thru this morning and only saw wild turkey !! As for other area to bird at Belleplain, stop at the park office and pick up the map, there are so many trails to walk, and you never know what you might uncover. Start brushing up on your warbler ID skills, the best is yet to come !!

Re: Some Spring Sightings

Have found 3 baby quail in the lawn this morning. The crows are hanging around looking for others. we have them in a safe enviornment but we don't want to keep them from their adults. We even found the nest of which most eggs have either a hole pecked in them or are totally hatched. No adults around. We have been feeding about 3 dozen quail thru the winter and love to watch them. I live in Washington state. any suggestions? shoe2