Third Annual Cape May
October Getaway 2016
By Rachel Pariso Corso and Susan Puder
In what is becoming an annual
birding getaway, the members of the Southern Ocean County Birding Group (SOBG)
packed their birding gear and headed to Cape May Point for the 2016 bird
migration season in early October. A historic Victorian three-story home facing
tranquil Lake Lily became home for four days of birding for the
As the archives note, the
spacious home was built in the early 1890's and was previously the clubhouse of
the Cape May Point Country Club. Today the home consists of large rooms
furnished with beautiful antique furniture, including a formal dining room. A
large comfortable entry room with several cozy sitting areas surrounds a dramatically
carved huge fire place. As the birders returned home to "nest" for
the night, they shared their bird sightings of the day while sitting on the
wrap-around porch before dinner.
This year we had a full
house again, and several SOBG members visited for the day and stopped
by to tour the house. The warbler diversity was down this year, but we still managed to see almost 90 species during the five days we were
there. The raptors didn’t disappoint, with Sharp-shinned Hawks and Cooper’s Hawks
being the most prevalent, and a Merlin decided to visit outside the house our
last evening. The weather didn’t help
with migration, as we had almost a constant east wind with clouds for 2+
days. But birding is always a crap shoot
when planning so far in advance.
of the most amazing sights the first day we arrived were the tens of
thousands of Tree Swallows flying over the dunes near the Hawk Watch.
At times they almost covered the Cape May Lighthouse and some of our
members felt like they were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. By the end of
the week, the swallows had mostly moved on over Delaware Bay. We were
also pleased to see good numbers of Monarch Butterflies, and we added a
few butterflies of our own, thanks to some of our members.
The food was delicious as
always, and we had guests Kevin Karlson
and Dale Rosselet join us one night, adding to our lively dinner discussions.
Next year we might try a
different week later in the month to see a different variety of species, and
maybe coincide with the NJ Audubon Fall Migration Festival. Stay tuned for more information on our plans.