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Day 4 went by swiftly. There was spotty frost on the ground this morning. We had a chilly north wind for most of the day. We started the day at the beach at Stone Harbor, NJ. Things looked pretty typical for the season and nothing much was happening. And just when we were lulled into believing it would be a bit slow–a less than ordinary day–then BAM! It happened right out of the blue. Literally. The floppy, irregular flight of a large-headed big bird looked waaaaaay out of place out over the ocean. The bird? A Short-eared Owl. Wow! How cool is that?!??
And just like that everything changed. Large lines of scoters (Surf and Black) began passing on the horizon. Excitedly, we headed for the seawatch at Avalon, NJ. We were not disappointed. Many seabirds streamed by our location making the time pass quickly. Northern Gannets were at a distance. Several Parasitic Jaegers harassed the feeding gull flock in front of us. It was hard to pull ourselves away.
On the way to Cape May Point we drove over Nummy Island where we saw a Nelson’s Sparrow. The Cape May Hawkwatch had several Merlins and many Sharp-shinned Hawks. It was a grand way to end a good day of birding.
No new birds were added for the year today. Year total is still at 524 species. Our Mid Atlantic tour total is now 121 species. Signing off before my eyelids fuze shut.