The most special part of our trip was meeting up with our friend Mark Garland. Mark is a Naturalist who leads lots of field trips and tours. He took us to a couple great birding spots. At the beach, we saw Horseshoe Crabs and thousands of shorebirds including Gulls, Terns, Sandpipers, Plovers, Killdeer, Ruddy Turnstones and then some! Every year in the spring, the Horseshoe Crabs come to shore to lay their eggs. For two weeks, thousands of shorebirds come to eat the eggs to refuel before heading north.
Mark is showing us how the male Horseshoe Crab latches on to the female with their boxer claws.
Isn’t he attractive?
Mark is looking through some seaweed to show us a Horseshoe Crab egg.
He is showing us the egg. It is so tiny we could hardly see it.
We saw a Tri-colored Heron. Another life bird!
Ferd and I went to Cape May, New Jersey for the Cape Maygration Shorebird and Horseshoe Crab Festival. We didn’t realize until the last minute that we needed to take a Ferry over to Cape May. We were very lucky to catch the last Ferry over! Our first day, we birded the trails, fields and forest edges of Higbee Beach and Cape May point State Park. Here is our group starting out.
Ferd observing from the observation deck.
Observing our group
We saw so many, many shorebirds and other wildlife and many new life birds for me! Here are only a few of the things we saw.
Here is an Oystercatcher on her nest.Ruddy Ducks
Black Razor Snake
Thousands of Gulls and Terns.
We saw many Summer Tanagers
Great Crested FlycatcherEverywhere I turned, I saw birds!
Rat SnakeThe Cape May Lighthouse
Mute SwanPainted Turtle
What a great trip! I saw 70 species and it’s only the first day!
This is the last picture of the Brown-headed Nuthatches I took on May 6th before they fledged. Two days after that, they were gone.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak visits my yard only a couple days out of the year in the spring. I have seen him the last couple days and was able to get a couple pictures before he took off for the year.
I have Brown-headed Nuthatches nesting in my back yard.
They are nesting in my Bluebird box.
I added hinges to the top of the box for easy viewing.
There were four eggs and only 2 survived. They are now 2 weeks old and are fully feathered.
It was 4 days ago when I checked in on the Brown-headed Nuthatches and wow, they are almost fully feathered!
I checked in on the Brown-headed hatchlings and they are covered up so I couldn’t get a good look at them. : (
We had Brown-headed Nuthatches nest in one of our bird boxes last year and they did the same thing by covering up their five babies.
Getting a little bigger every day! They are about a week old now.