A pure fluke in the weather patterns allowed us to benefit from two major falls during our stay. Big events are dependent on big changes in the weather and we twice experienced a shift of wind from the north west. This signals a big exodus from the breeding grounds of Canada and northern North America. The southerly routes funnel migrants to the coast and onwards to Cape May like a giant Heligoland trap. The birds' unwillingness to venture over the sea means Cape May simply cannot fail when the winds are in the right direction. Add to that a massive lighthouse which acts as a beacon, then all the ingredients can produce something spectacular.
|Cape May Meadows - an attractive refuge for migrants. We walked the one mile perimeter daily.
Soon after the Higbee Dike entertainment finished we headed a couple hundred yards inland to the Higbee Fields, five of them with strategically positioned towers to view passerines at eye level. The fields are where most of my photography happened. Gaps in the hedges were the best places to position yourself as passerines worked their way southwards.
|Juv Black and White Warbler - a common migrant, often very tame.
|Merlin - a common migrant
|First year Ring-billed Gull
|First year Laughing Gull
|Tennessee Warbler - scarce passage migrant - seen daily in low numbers
|Eastern Phoebe - common passage migrant
|First year Chestnut-sided Warbler - a stunningly bright warbler and one of only three seen in the fortnight. (Image doesn't portray its lime green colouring).