September 11, 2014 ~ Easton, MD to Shady Side, MD
|Eastern Neck NWR - MD|
|Butterfly Garden - Eastern Neck NWR - MD|
This blog will mostly be birds, books and food. I always wanted a place to note books and certain bird sightings. And I always have intentions to eat and cook better, SO, obviously inspired by Julie and Julia, I decided to cook my way through one of Mollie Katzen's (Moosewood) cookbooks. The one I used was Still Life with Menu but then didn't finish this project...although I tried (for awhile). Now (2013) it is mostly books. And Birding My Way....
|Eastern Neck NWR - MD|
|Butterfly Garden - Eastern Neck NWR - MD|
|Huge fly on windshield - Blackwater NWR - MD|
|Salt marsh - Blackwater NWR - MD|
|Blackwater NWR - MD|
Bombay Hook stems from "Bompies Hoeck," the name meaning "little-tree point" given to the wetlands by a Dutch settler who bought the area from Indians for one gun, four hands full of powder, three waistcoats, one anchor of liquor, and one kettle.At the Visitor Center, a couple of women kindly allowed me to interrupt their conversation and answered my few questions. This refuge has an auto route, again through salt marshes and woods. Very quickly, I came on an elderly woman standing at a scope looking over thousands of shorebirds. The bugs, mercifully, were mostly absent at this particular spot, probably due to a good breeze. So I, too, got out my scope and looked through Black-bellied Plovers, trying to find an American Golden Plover; moved briefly through the numerous peeps (small sandpipers) without attempting to ID all of them (most were Semipalmated SPs); and watching dozens of black and white-plumaged American Avocets in a feeding frenzy, moving quickly through the water, head low, bills scooping whatever it is they eat....
|American Avocets - Bombay Hook NWR - DE|
|Allee House - Bombay Hook NWR - DE|
The Allee House, which is located on refuge property just east of the Dutch Neck Road/Route 9 intersection, is the refuge's historic treasure. It was built in the mid-1750's by Abraham Allee, the son of a French Huguenot (followers of Calvinism who were persecuted in France for their religious beliefs), and is considered to be among the finest examples of an early Delaware farmhouse. The house remained in the Allee family for several generations before it was sold in 1828 to pay off a legal debt. It was owned by several prominent Delaware families before being sold to the United States government in 1962. In 1971, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
|Egrets - Prime Hook NWR - DE|
Situated at the southwest tip of the Cape May peninsula, The South Cape May Meadows Preserve, includes over 200 acres of critical habitat in the globally renowned birding hot spot of Cape May, NJ. The preserve is replete with dunes, freshwater wetlands, meadows, ponds, and a full mile of protected beach. The Cape May peninsula acts as a funnel for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway and the land protected there provides foraging and resting habitat for birds before they cross Delaware Bay. The preserve’s loop trail provides visitors with wildlife viewing opportunities in both a freshwater wetland and on an undeveloped beach, a rarity on the heavily developed Jersey shoreline. An estimated 300,000 visitors enjoy the preserve’s natural beauty each year.
Historic Connection:Just offshore, the remnants of the town of South Cape May lie scattered on the ocean floor. The Victorian Resort town, established in the 1840’s included a modest number of vacation cottages in its prime, but most were destroyed by a storm and overtaken by the ocean in the early 1950’s. The few homes that survived the storm were moved to new locations within West Cape May and Cape May City. Grazing cattle helped to maintain an open meadow following the town’s destruction. After the preserve was established by the Conservancy, and the cattle moved on to more nutritious pastures, the wetland and meadow were overtaken by the common reed, Phragmites a highly invasive plant.
Ecosystem Restored:The face of the preserve dramatically changed once again in 2004, when the Conservancy teamed with the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to restore the Meadows freshwater wetland and beach ecosystems. The project area included both The South Cape May Meadows Preserve and the adjacent Cape May Point State Park, this project was the first of its kind undertaken in New Jersey and has been a marked success. The goal was to return the degraded landscape to a more productive, and natural state to benefit both the wildlife and the residents of local communities by adding protection from coastal flooding. Elements of the project included replenishment of an eroded beach, building up of the dunes, restoration of freshwater flow through the wetland, control of the invasive common reed Phragmites, creation of shorebird foraging and resting areas within the wetland, and installation of water control structures. While the process of re-engineering the wetland and beach was very intrusive, the ecosystem proved its resilience and has not only recovered, but flourished in the seven years since the completion of the project. When the preserve re-opened in June of 2007 it not only featured important enhancements for wildlife, but also amenities for visitors; including a gravel parking lot, information booth, improved trail system, and an observation platform.
|Birding hike at Cape May Meadows - NJ|
|Cooper's Hawk - Cape May Meadows - NJ|
|Salt marsh - Cook Beach - NJ|
|Terns: Royal and Forster's - Cook's Beach - NJ|
|Hawk Watch - Cape May Point State Park - NJ|
|Blue Trail - Cape May State Park - NJ|
|Sweet Autumn Clematis - Cape May Point State Park - NJ|
|Tree-snatching bicycle - Cape May Point SP - NJ|
|Cpae May NWR - NJ|
|Sanderlings - Higbee Beach - NJ|
|Blue Trail - Cape May Point State Park - NJ|
|American Avocet and Laughing Gulls - Edwin B. Forsythe NWR - NJ|
|Snowy Egret at Edwin B....notice golden slippers|
[Wilson's Phalarope was} running feeding along north dike between goose marker 12 and dog leg. Feeding on sandbar where several Caspian terns were roosting. Feeding in typical phalarope fashion. A long legged shorebird smaller than a lesser yellowlegs with pale upper and lower parts and the back was slightly darker gray than the underparts. No dark smudge behind the eye as in red-necked phalarope, although it did appear a little smaller than I remember from my WIPH sighting this past spring.It looked like he had taken photos with an iPhone through a scope. I have better ones. And two were reported on 09/07 described a feeding "actively if not maniacally.."
|Wilson's Phalarope at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR - NJ|
|Terns, skimmers and gulls at Edwin B.|