Today I started scouting for the 2010 World Series of Birding. This year, I am on the Subadult Skuaz team, which consists of three young birders from eastern United States. All pledges that I raise are donated to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. The event itself will be held on May 15, and this week, I am scouting for birds in southern New Jersey.
Early this morning, my mom and I left home at around 3:45am, and arrived at our starting location at around 7:00am. For most of the morning, we birded around many southern woodland habitats in areas such as Millville Wildlife Management Area and Belleplain State Forest. We drove around, stopping at any promising location and listened for birds. The extremely high winds made listening very challenging. Many birds were quiet and inactive. Despite the wind, we found territories for many of the "southern specialty" birds, including Orchard Oriole, White-eyed Vireo, Acadian Flycatcher, Prothonotary Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Summer Tanager, and Blue Grosbeak.
In the afternoon, we headed to southern New Jersey. Our first stop on the Cape May Island was along Steven's Street. We were only here for a few minutes, but saw an immature Broad-winged Hawk fly over. From here, we went to Cape May Point State Park. Here, we walked along the ponds while watching the numerous swallows. Here we found six species of swallows, a few ducks, and watched several Osprey. In a small pond in the back, I noticed a smalls shorebird running towards me. I watched it come closer and soon realized that it was a Piping Plover, most likely one of the ones nesting on the adjacent beach.
Our next stop was "The Meadows" also known as the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge. Here we saw a large flock of terns and gulls. The majority of the flock was Laughing Gulls (80+) and Forster's Terns (90+), but there were a few Common and Least Terns and Ring-billed, Herring, Great Black-backed, and Bonaparte's Gulls. In the water, there were several shorebirds, including several Least Sandpipers, both yellowlegs, and a Willet.
After birding Cape May, we called it a day and hit the sack. I finished the day with 98 species.
Sorry for the lack of photos. I cannot upload photos now, but as soon as I can, I will.