From Cape May we moved to Timberlane Campgrounds in New Jersey across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, PA. Most of our stay here was devoted to wonderful tours of Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, The Mint, Art Museum, etc. but I was able to get in a bit of birding at John Heinz NWR. Here I ran into some wonderful birders who were chasing a Least Bittern which we found as well as showing me the hot spots of the refuge. Among other things we found an unusual female adolescent Red-Winged Blackbird.
From the Outer Banks we travelled to Virginia Beach, VA. I spent 3 good days birding at Dismal Swamp NWR and Back Bay NWR near Virginia Beach. Both are great facilities enjoyed thoroughly by the locals.
At Dismal Swamp (love that name) I saw my first ever Wood Thrush and Oven Bird.
Too hot! Even for the Great Blue Heron
Next up was Washington DC. where we mostly did the tourist thing and then made our way to Cape May, NJ. This was one of our favorites of the many beach communities we have visited and a great spot for birding too. Had great tours of Cape May Point St. Pk. as well as the Nature Conservancy, South Cape May Meadows. At the park I saw my first Mute Swans of the year as well as FOY Purple Finch.
We also enjoyed a wonderful boat tour of the Cape May Swamps aboard the “Osprey”.
Thanks Bob and Dave!
Lastly out of Cape May we visited Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary. Here we found a family of Gray Catbirds.
Osprey with chicks
Great Black-Backed Gull
Gray Catbirds abound lately
Great Blue Heron with lunch
Interesting adolescent female Red-Winged Blackbird
As of 7-17-12 the 2012 year count stands at 330 including 130 lifers.
In Massachusetts we stayed at a great Campground named Circle CG Farms in Bellingham, MA. There from our site we noticed Eastern Phoebes repeatedly fly into the same tree. Upon further investigation we found 3 young huddled together on a branch anxiously awaiting there next feeding.
Also here the Carolina Chickadees were finally supplanted by our first (familiar) Black-Capped Chickadees of 2012.
Eastern Phoebe, and Eastern Phoebe chicks.