Happy Tuesday!

Flower Bouquet © 2017 MardiWelchDickinson  KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

Flower Bouquet © 2017 MardiWelchDickinson KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

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PDF Feeder Form 2016

Westport CT CBC Backyard Feeder List 2016

Westport CT CBC Backyard Feeder List 2016

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CBC Attire 2016

 

Mardi Dickinson scoping for winter birds. Cove Place area beach, Stratford, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Mardi Dickinson scoping for winter sea ducks. Cove Place area beach, Stratford, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Have you thought about what you are going to wear on your CBC and this winter? Well you need to start, because the elements can be brutal and certainly taxing on your body. If your not dressed properly you are going to get cold the minute you step foot outside and promptly go home.

I would rather have to unzip or open up a layer to cool off than to be cold at anytime, anywhere on my body in winter outside!  If you don’t stay warm & dry all over, then something is not working the way it should be in the system that you have and wear. Layering is the key but done properly so as to keep warm and dry. In the photos the outfit I am wearing, I have NEVER been cold once.

Some of it I mix and match of what and how long of a day I am spending outdoors. Including just how cold it is out and what type of adventure I am going on. My suggestions below will keep you warm and dry but at a price when all is said and done. You won’t have to buy again unless your still young and growing. That is worth it to me for all the times I spent money on gear that just didn’t work at all. Buy once and be done with it!

These suggestions are geared to outdoor activities who are out in the elements all day or standing around for long periods of time waiting for something to happen.

Additional Gear click here. Winter Gear

Mardi Dickinson photographing Sankaty Head lighthouse January 2010. Nantucket Island MA. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Mardi Dickinson photographing Sankaty Head lighthouse January 2010. Nantucket Island MA. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

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Christmas Bird Count History 2016

Flock of Robin's. Rresidental backyard. @Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Flock of Robin’s. Residental backyard. @Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

History of the Christmas Bird Count Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt”: They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

Conservation was in its beginning stages around the turn of the 20th century, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a “Christmas Bird Census”-that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Frank M. Chapman and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied around 90 species on all the counts combined.

The First Christmas Bird Count was on December 25, 1900. About 18,500 individual birds and 27 total participants Cumulative bird species list: 89 species total. 

Counts conducted in first Christmas Bird Count: 25 total counts

Scotch Lake, York County, New Brunswick                                                                                  Toronto, Ontario
Keene, New Hampshire
Belmont and Cambridge, Massachusetts                                                                                           Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts                                                                                       Winchester, Massachusetts                                                                                                                   Bristol, Connecticut                                                                                                                                Norwalk, Connecticut                                                                                                                     Auburn to Owasco Lake, New York                                                                                                  Central Park, New York City, New York                                                                                            Englewood, New Jersey                                                                                                                        Moorestown, New Jersey                                                                                                                       Newfield, New Jersey                                                                                                                            Baldwin, Louisiana                                                                                                                                Pueblo, Colorado                                                                                                                                      Germantown, Pennsylvania                                                                                                                  Wyncote, Pennsylvania                                                                                                                           Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                                                                         Oberlin, Ohio                                                                                                                                         Glen Elyn, Illinois                                                                                                                                  North Freedom, Sauk County, Wisconsin                                                                                          La Grange, Missouri                                                                                                                              Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California                                                                                    Neshaminy Creek & Upper Delaware River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                  Delaware River Meadows, Tinicum Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania

For detailed information about the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count 2016 Click here. Backyard Birds Feeder PDF list Click Here. Christmas Bird Count Attire Click Here

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Westport CT CBC Feeder Form 2016

 

Northern Cardinal, winter, backyard, Sterling, CT ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Northern Cardinal, winter, backyard, Sterling, CT ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Join in the fun and help us count for the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 18, 2016., how many birds you might see in your own Backyard Bird Feeder. Some birders choose to stay home instead of going out into the field. You too can participate by observing your backyard bird feeders and counting local visitors in the comfort and warmth of your own home drinking Hot Chocolate. These counts have certain guidelines but are a welcome and very important addition, to the science that 115 years of continuous data collection is done and supported by the National Audubon Society.

Feel free to print out a PDF Backyard Birds Feeder Form Click Here. This Feeder Form applies ONLY to the Westport CT CBC Count CircleFor detailed information about the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count 2016 Click here

Westport CT CBC Backyard Feeder List 2016

Westport CT CBC Backyard Feeder List 2016

Posted in Backyard Birding, Birding, Birding News, Conservation, CT Birding News, Westport CT CBC Feeder Form 2016 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Westport CT CBC 2016

Cedar Waxwing, with Juniper berry, winter, migrant, Hamonassett SP, Madison, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Cedar Waxwing, with Juniper berry, winter, migrant, Hamonassett SP, Madison, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Westport, CT CBC Christmas Bird Count Sunday, December 18, 2016

This year is the 70th Annual Westport Christmas Bird Count, and the 117th anniversary of the National Audubon CBC concept. This fall has been pretty exciting for Connecticut birders with a number of unusual species being seen in our area. CBC participants are looking forward to finding the unusual and the commonplace too, as all birds count on a CBC.

The CBC tradition has volunteer bird watchers at all levels of experience spend all or part of one day, around the Holiday season, going out into the field in various locations within the local Count Circle. Teams of observers will canvas many local hot spots. The object is to identify and count each species of bird they see and to record how many of each type they see in one day.

The Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count is conducted during a 24-hour period (rain, sleet, snow, or shine) from midnight to midnight, Sunday, December 18th, 2016. The intent of the count is to locate, identify, and count all wild birds found within a 15-mile diameter count circle, centered at Westport’s twin Bridges on Route 57. The Westport Count also includes Norwalk, Weston, Easton, Fairfield and New Canaan. Small groups of birdwatchers, led by a Captain, scour pre-assigned territories in order to maximize coverage. Others conduct backyard feeder counts in the same areas. Data collected (as well as totals from 17 other counts in Connecticut) is submitted to the National Audubon Society.

Count participants (observers) range in birding ability from pigeon-feeders to “Olympic Champions”. ALL ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE. Westport CBC Count Week is Thursday 12/15 through Wednesday 12/21. Generally experienced birders are paired with those who have less experience. Most observers start looking for birds at sunrise (7am), but some go out several hours earlier searching for owls and rails. Some make a daylong affair, others participants for just two or three hours. Field activity tends to wind down at sundown.

Remember the CBC is supposed to be fun, so stay safe. Drive carefully; watch your step, stay off private property unless arrangements have been made, wear appropriate clothing and footwear. If you are just getting started in birding or have tons of experience and think you want to join a CBC field team.

Contact: Mardi Dickinson – Westport CBC Compiler & Captain
Email: mardi1d@gmail.com
web: kymry.wordgroup.com
Tel: 203-846-0359.

Backyard Feeder Counts: Some birders also choose to stay home, but they too can participate by observing their backyard bird feeders and counting local visitors. These counts have certain guidelines but are welcome additions to the science that 113 years of continuous data collection supported by the National Audubon Society. Feeder forms can be obtained by going to Backyard Feeder Form.

The CBC results are published in AMERICAN BIRDS online magazine along with the input from 1700 other counts conducted nationwide and throughout the Americas. This is the longest running annual census of bird populations in the country, thanks to the some 44,000 thousand birdwatchers who volunteer their efforts.

After the count this year CBC observers then will gather at 6pm to tally the results and join in on a potluck dinner celebration to discuss the highlights of the day.

2. Westport CT CBC Feeder Form 2016

3.  Christmas Bird Count History 2016

4.  Chrismas Bird Count Attire 2016

Posted in Backyard Birding, Birders, Birding, Birding News, Conservation, CT Birding News, Westport CT Christmas Bird Count 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bird Cape May Fall Festival

Tree Swallows, fall migrants foraging over Cape May Point State Park, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson.

Tree Swallows, fall migrants foraging over Cape May Point State Park, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved. All photographs may not be used without written permission. Please respect the wishes of all the photographers.

The beautiful fall weekend was in late October and the Cape May Fall Birding Festival hosted by the Cape May Bird Observatory (fondly know as CMBO) and The New Jersey Audubon Society was taking place in Cape May New Jersey. Hundreds of birders and nature enthusiasts of all stripes migrated to Cape May Island to partake in a wealth of bird related activities.

Early morning birders hit the morning flight at the Higbee Dike or combed the many trails at Higbee Beach State Park or Rea Farms to witness migrants dropping out of the dawn sky and dodging hawks to seek shelter in the fields and woods.

Cape May Morning Flight Dike at Higbee Beach where birders gather as the sun peaks over the horizon that begins the spectacular fall songbird migration. Cape May Fall Birding Festival, Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, West Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Cape May Morning Flight Dike at Higbee Beach where birders gather as the sun peaks over the horizon that begins the spectacular fall songbird migration. Cape May Fall Birding Festival, Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, West Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

There was so much to do and see in a weekend.

Palm Warbler, fall migrant, foraging on sand beach with goldenrod, Cape May Point, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson.

Palm Warbler, fall migrant, foraging on sand beach with goldenrod, Cape May Point, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved .

Others gathered on the lower morning flight platform at Higbee Beach State Park

Cape May Morning Flight Platform & Dike at Higbee Beach birders gather as the sun peaks over the horizon that begins the spectacular fall songbird migration. Cape May Fall Birding Festival, Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, West Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Cape May Morning Flight Platform & Dike at Higbee Beach birders gather as the sun peaks over the horizon that begins the spectacular fall songbird migration. Cape May Fall Birding Festival, Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, West Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Many birders hit the paths through the meadows and the woods as the migration spectacle unfolded. In a small clearing, along a path near the upper Higbee Beach parking lot, 6 species of sparrows were seen in one small opening in less than 10 minutes.

Cape May Fall Birding Festival had dozens of walks with expert leaders ongoing in Field #1 at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, West Cape May, NJ.

Cape May Fall Birding Festival had dozens of walks with expert leaders ongoing in Field #1 at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, West Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

It was like sparrow whack-a-mole, one species would pop up and disappear, to be replaced by another one or two, with no two of the same species in sight at the same time. There were warblers, vireos, grosbeaks, and thrushes and more surprises to find too.

Bell's Vireo, vagrant, fall, Higbee Beach SP, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson.

Bell’s Vireo, vagrant, fall, Higbee Beach SP, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Information on the Cape May Fall Festival was available on line, in the New Jersey Travel Booth on the Garden State and at the registration table in the Grand Hotel.

Cape May Autumn Birding Festival Brochure at Visitor's Information Center, Garden State Parkway, New Jersey. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Cape May Autumn Birding Festival Brochure at Visitor’s Information Center, Garden State Parkway, New Jersey. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

L. to R. David La Puma, CMBO Director; Deborah Shaw, Admin Director, NJ Audubon. Checking in registrants for the Cape May Fall Birding Festival at the Cape May Grand Hotel, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

L. to R. David La Puma, CMBO Director; Deborah Shaw, Admin Director, NJ Audubon. Checking in registrants for the Cape May Fall Birding Festival at the Cape May Grand Hotel, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

************************************************************************************

A Boat-tailed Grackle displays for the visitors passing by on there way to Cape May.

Boat-tailed Grackle, male display in the rain, fall, off Ocean Drive, Wildwood, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Boat-tailed Grackle, male display in the rain, fall, off Ocean Drive, Wildwood, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Hawk watchers were drawn to the platform at Cape May Point state park.

Cape May Fall Birding Festival Cameron Cox, Official Hawk Counter at Cape May Point Hawkwatch platform, Cape May Point State Park, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson.

Cape May Fall Birding Festival Cameron Cox, Official Hawk Counter at Cape May Point Hawk watch platform, Cape May Point State Park, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Expert guides lead groups and help with bird ID pointers and where to look for them.

L. Dale Rosselet, Vice President of Education, NJ Audubon; talking hawks with Cape May Fall Festival participants at the Cape May Hawk Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson.

L. Dale Rosselet, Vice President of Education, NJ Audubon; talking hawks with Cape May Fall Birding Festival participants at the Cape May Hawk Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Later in the day the Cape May Lighthouse Hawk watch platform produced a steady stream of raptors and other assorted birds throughout the days. Many birders stopped at the platform at least once during there visit and if you were patient, you could meet every birder in Cape May sometime during the weekend.

Cooper's Hawk juv, fall migrant over Cape May Hawk Watch platform, Cape May Point S.P., West Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson.

Cooper’s Hawk juv, fall migrant over Cape May Hawk Watch platform, Cape May Point S.P., West Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Optic experts were on hand to give field demo’s and show how to use a scope with a DSLR.

Clay Taylor, Swarovski Optik North America & CMFBF Exhibitor at Cape May Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Clay Taylor, Swarovski Optik North America & CMFBF Exhibitor at Cape May Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

If you dallied long enough on the platform you might run into tour operators and genuine birding celebrities.

L to R. Kevin Laughlin and Greg Miller, Wildside Nature Tours & CMFBF Exhibitor at Cape May Point Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson.

L to R. Kevin Loughlin and Greg Miller, Wildside Nature Tours & CMFBF Trade Show Exhibitor at Cape May Point Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

And a legend.

L. To R. Pete Dunne; Kojo Baidoo, Points out a Hawk to Pete Dunne while birdwatching at the Famous Cape May Point Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

L. To R. Pete Dunne, Author, Ambassador to Birds; Kojo Baidoo, Points out a Hawk to Pete Dunne while birdwatching at the Famous Cape May Point Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Hawk banding demo under the pavilion next to the Cape May Point Hawk watch. Makes you wonder why anyone has a problem telling the large Cooper Hawk from the smaller Sharp-Shinned.

Hawkwatch Demonstration at Cape May Point Pavilion. for the Cape May Fall Festival 2015. Cape May Point State Park, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Hawk watch Demonstration at Cape May Point Pavilion. for the Cape May Fall Festival 2015. Cape May Point State Park, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

There were organized activities for most birding areas at various times during the day, and many took advantage of them. Independent parties also were encouraged to visit various areas and detailed maps and guides were provided by CMBO/NJAudubon and at the Convention Center.

Monarch butterfly, fall migrants Cape May Point State Park, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson.

Monarch butterfly, fall migrants Cape May Point State Park, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Butterfly watchers would visit meadows and parks to seek the many species, all would notice the numerous monarchs and dragonflies also on migration.

Cape May Fall Birding Festival L. to R. Kevin Karlson Photographer; Dale Rosselet, VP Education, NJ Audubon; David Lindo, Urban Birder; Vanessa Palacios. Cape May Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson

Cape May Fall Birding Festival L. to R. Kevin Karlson Photographer; Dale Rosselet, VP Education, NJ Audubon; David Lindo, Urban Birder; Vanessa Palacios. Cape May Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May Point State Park, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

And famous authors became bird guides once they were in the field.

Peter Dunne, Author, Ambassador to Birds leads a walk through the Cape May Meadows on the dunes looking towards Cape May Lighthouse. ©Townsend P. Dickinson.

Peter Dunne, Author, Ambassador to Birds leads a walk through the Cape May Meadows on the dunes looking towards Cape May Lighthouse. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

The number of organized bird adventures being offered throughout the weekend sometimes attracted a crowd of participants. One could walk the Meadows with Pete Dunn or do the Beanery or simply gaze out into Delaware Bay or the Atlantic for terns and all manner of migrating water birds by the thousands.

Forster's Terns in flight over Atlantic Ocean, fall, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson

Forster’s Terns in flight over Atlantic Ocean, fall, Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Some would scan the ocean and bay rips to glimpse a jaeger among the terns and gulls. Southbound streams of migrant ducks, cormorants, terns and gannets were noted over the Atlantic by diligent sea watchers. One could go on a sea watching boat trip or take a tour through the marshes on a shallow water vessel guided by expert leaders.

The beauty of Cape May is that one could hit key areas, known to insiders as the Platform, Lilly Pond, Bunker Pond, The Meadows, Hidden Valley Ranch, Higbee Beach area, Rea Farms, Avalon Sea Watch, Poverty Beach, Sunset Beach and other beaches, each with a different cast of avian characters and do them well all in a single long weekend.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, fall migrant, foraging on tree at CMBO , West Cape May, NJ . ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All rights Reserved.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, fall migrant, foraging on tree at CMBO , West Cape May, NJ . ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Sapsucker Right over the entrance door to the CMBO building near Lily Lake.

Triangle Park, retired life guard saving boat as planter, with Monarch in flight, site of Monarch Butterfly banding stations, West Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Triangle Park, retired life guard saving boat as planter, with Monarch in flight, site of Monarch Butterfly banding stations, West Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

A walk along the quiet streets of West Cape May might turn up a migrant or fifty especially if you run across a “magic tree”. You might even see a  migrant Monarch or a Dragonfly.

Cape May Warbler, Dendroica tigrina, female, fall migrant, foraging in "magic tree" West Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Cape May Warbler, Dendroica tigrina, female, fall migrant, foraging in “magic tree” West Cape May, NJ. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

The Cape May Convention Center, re-opened after an extensive rebuild, had numerous birding related exhibitors showing off their wares and promoting their causes. Optics, Travel and Tour Operators, and Conservation organizations, with others filled the hall and attracted a steady stream of visitors who jammed the isles looking at exhibits and talking to people at the displays and networking.

L. to R. Victor Emanuel, Barry Lyons, Louise Zemaitis & Michael O'Brien of VENT & CMFBF Exhibitors, Cape May Fall Birding Festival Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

L. to R. Victor Emanuel, Barry Lyons, Louise Zemaitis & Michael O’Brien of VENT & CMFBF Exhibitors, Cape May Fall Birding Festival Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

You could meet tour operators and dream of far off places.

Glenn Davis at CMBO Booth, at the Cape May Fall Birding Festival 2015 Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Dickinson/KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

Glenn Davis at CMBO Booth, at the Cape May Fall Birding Festival 2015 Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

You could try out optics and get practical advice from seasoned field ornithologists.

Jonathan Wood, The Raptor Project entertains packed house & marks the return of THE BIRD SHOW at Cape May Fall Festival 2015 Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Jonathan Wood, The Raptor Project entertains packed house & marks the return of THE BIRD SHOW at Cape May Fall Festival 2015 Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

There seemed to be something for everyone, the hawk presentation was a big draw for young birders.

L. to R. Kojo Baidoo, Young Birder; Diane Louie, NJ Audubon Board Member; Kwamena Baidoo. Enjoying Cape May Fall Festival & Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

L. to R. Kojo Baidoo, Young Birder; Diane Louie, NJ Audubon Board Member; Kwamena Baidoo. Enjoying Cape May Fall Festival & Trade Show 2015, Convention Hall, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

At Convention Hall, there were bird and nature related crafts for sale, a silent action art work in a beautiful light and airy space adjacent to the exhibit hall.

CMBO Cape May Fall Festival Trade Show & Silent Auction. Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

CMBO Cape May Fall Festival Trade Show & Silent Auction. Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

A recognition of outstanding services.

R. Gretchen Whitman, NJ Audubon Sanctuary Director, Nature Center of Cape May NJ Audubon with kids from New Jersey Center for the Book at the Cape May Fall Birding Festival Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

R. Gretchen Whitman, NJ Audubon Sanctuary Director, Nature Center of Cape May NJ Audubon with kids from New Jersey Center for the Book at the Cape May Fall Birding Festival Trade Show, Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

New Jersey Audubon and CMBO out did it’s self for this three day festival; the evening programs of book signing & sales, networking & cocktails, and the Keynotes alone were worth the price of admissions. The overall organization was excellent, and the camaraderie was infectious.

L. to R. Jeff Bouton, Marketing Manager, Leica Sport Optics USA & CMFF Exhibitor; Lillian Armstrong, Special Events Coordinator, CMBO; David La Puma, CMBO Director. Cape May Fall Birding Festival Trade Show Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

L. to R. Jeff Bouton, Marketing Manager, Leica Sport Optics USA & CMFBF Trade Show Exhibitor; Lillian Armstrong, Special Events Coordinator, CMBO; David La Puma, CMBO Director. 2015 Cape May Fall Birding Festival Trade Show Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

There was so much to do and see in a weekend starting off with The Woedoggies, performed at the Rusty Nail for CMBO’s Cape May Fall Birding Festival Kickoff Party, in Cape May, NJ.

L.toR. Rudy Dauth, Wylie Shipman, Peter Riley of The Woedoggies, performing at the Rusty Nail for CMBO's Cape May Fall Birding Festival Kickoff Party, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

L.to R. Rudy Dauth, Wylie Shipman, Peter Riley of The Woedoggies, performing at the Rusty Nail for CMBO’s Cape May Fall Birding Festival 2015 Kickoff Party, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Books were for sale and one could meet the authors and get their books signed.

L. to R. Authors David Lindo & Michael O'Brien at the Cape May Fall Birding Festival 2015 Book signing evening, Grand Hotel, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

L. to R. Authors David Lindo & Michael O’Brien at the Cape May Fall Birding Festival 2015 Book signing evening, Grand Hotel, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

Meet famous authors.

Cape May Fall Festival Book Signings & Sales Event 2015 at the Grand Hotel, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Cape May Fall Festival Book Signings & Sales Event 2015 at the Grand Hotel, Cape May, NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Get more books.

L. to R. Clay and Pat Sutton, at the Cape May Fall Festival 2015 Book Signing Event, Grand Hotel, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson /KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

L. to R. Clay and Pat Sutton, Bill Boyle at the Cape May Fall Festival 2015 Book Signing Event, Grand Hotel, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson /KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

More famous authors

L. to R. Co-Authors Kevin Karlson & Dale Rosselet at Cape May Fall Festival 2015 Book Signing Event, Grand Hotel, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

L. to R. Co-Authors Kevin Karlson & Dale Rosselet at the Cape May Fall Festival 2015 Book Signing Event, Grand Hotel, Cape May NJ. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup All Rights Reserved.

There were plenty of non-bird things to do in Cape May too. It would be impossible to ignore the beautiful beaches, Cape May Point lighthouse, stroll the boardwalk, bycle rides and the famous victorian architecture, after all Cape May Island is the oldest seashore resort in the country; and there multiple eateries with good food at all price points.

The Cape May Fall Festival was truly a memorable happening. It was not just the birds, it was the gathering of a large, diverse group of people sharing their interest in all things bird and nature, in a very nice place, at the perfect time of year. Do yourself a favor and and don’t miss the next Cape May Fall Festival. The birding and scenery wasn’t bad either.

Cape May Lighthouse, fall with gulls in surf after sunset, from Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Cape May Lighthouse, fall with gulls in surf after sunset, from Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

NEWS Reel Clip INTERVIEW click below on a new feature called SCOOPS™ 2015 Cape May Fall Festival trade show at Convention Hall.

What in world are you hanging around for? Get off your branch and fly right down and click on this link here  Cape May Fall Festival! and sign up for this years 2016 that marks the 40th Anniversary of the Cape May Bird Observatory, the Cape May Hawk watch, and the 70th Anniversary of the New Jersey Audubon Annual Fall Meeting – a three day event from October 21st to the 23rd 2016.

Check out the eatery’s in Cape May NJ ~ Click here on BirdFoodForPeople™

Looking for Social Media or Photography coverage for your next event, please consider contacting KymryGroupMedia

Golden-crowned Kinglet, fall migrant, foraging in Pine near Cape May Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May State Park, West Cape May, NJ.©Townsend P. Dickinson.

Golden-crowned Kinglet, fall migrant, foraging in Pine near Cape May Hawk Watch Platform, Cape May State Park, West Cape May, NJ.©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Bird Cape May Fall Festival, Birding News, Cape May NJ, Conservation, KymryGroup™, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Great White Pelican at Ding Darling

Great White Pelican, J.N Ding Darling NWR. February 28 - March 1, 2016. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, J.N Ding Darling NWR. February 28 – March 1, 2016. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission. Photo may not be used without written permission.

We planned our Sanibel visit for weeks. The day we arrived an absolutely off the wall visitor from Africa also dropped in. A Great White Pelican, a denizen of the old world, with a range centered on Africa was found roosting amongst a flock of American White Pelicans in the J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Local residents and bird experts Lillian and Don Stokes alerted us to this bird after it was conclusively identified by Judith Davis, a  long time birder and roving naturalist for J. N. Ding Darling NWR.

Great White Pelican, J.N Ding Darling NWR.©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

Great White Pelican, J.N Ding Darling NWR. February 28-March 1, 2016 ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

February 28 – March 1, 2016.

This is not an easy bird to miss. It weighs approximately over 30 pounds, for reference, the Brown Pelican average weight is 8.2 pounds and the American White Pelican weighs in around 16.5 pounds. While the Great White Pelican does superficially resemble the American White Pelican, there were a number of key differences. This Great White Pelican, likely a breeding condition female, had an overall pinkish cast. The bill was multi-colored with yellow, blue and red , there was a yellowish wash on the breast and massive legs were pinkish. Most notable was a pronounced bulbous protrusion between the upper bill and crown, and the soft tissue color around the eye was large and orange.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage, extralimital), with American Pelican in back, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage, extralimital), with American Pelican in back, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. February 28 – March 1, 2016. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

This was the first recorded sighting of the species in North America. It was not known how the bird got to Sanibel, speculation ranged from escaped bird from zoo or collection, ship assisted ocean transit, hurricane driven, or simply a hop across the South Atlantic like the Cattle Egret before it. The bird had no leg bands. The wing feathers were not cut. The bird was capable of feeding in the wild, sustained flight, and was able to socialize with the American White Pelicans. There were, at last report, no records of errant GWP’s from North American Zoos and other collections of exotic waterfowl.

Great White Pelican on left (from Africa) with American White Pelicans, one doing head toss, pouch display, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on loft (from Africa) doing head toss, pouch display with American White Pelicans, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida.©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on left (from Africa) doing head toss, pouch display with American White Pelicans, roosting, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida. February 28 – March 1, 2016. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on loft (from Africa) doing head toss, pouch display with American White Pelicans, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida.©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on left (from Africa) doing head toss, pouch display with American White Pelicans, roosting, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida. February 28 – March 1, 2016. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Is this a good species? Time and the official ornithological reviews will tell. The bird was well seen by hundreds of birders over the course of three days. It flew off mid-day on the third day and has not been seen anywhere by anyone on the public record since then. The question of legitimacy of the species as a countable bird in North America rests with the Florida Ornithological Society report and subsequent review of their findings by the American Birding Association, ABA.

Great White Pelican on left flaps wings (from Africa) with American White Pelicans, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on right flaps wings (from Africa) with American White Pelicans, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida February 28 – March 1, 2016. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, with American White Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida February 28 -March 1, 2016. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, roosting with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, roosting with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida February 28 – March 1, 2016. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Certainly anyone who saw the bird will not soon forget it, and it sure looked and acted like a wild bird. The greatest mystery is how a 22 pound white bird with a wingspan approaching a California Condor can fly away on clear day and simply vanish. Perhaps the bird joined migrating American White Pelicans that were beginning to move north at the time, or perhaps a future search of museum and institutional records will find the specimen of the first Great White Pelican to reach North America. In the old days many a bird was collected for museum records or to control the spread of disease, I personally hope that this is not the case, however if there is a specimen, blood or tissue studies could be used to conclusively determine the origin of the bird.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, Flying off for the last time since Feb 28 after three day at J.N Ding Darling NWR on March 1, 2016. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, Flying off for the last time on March 1 , 2016 after three days at J.N Ding Darling NWR from 9am February 28 to 10am March 1, 2016. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Additional Interview with Judith Davis talking about the Great White Pelican on BirdCallsRadio Click Here: BirdCallsRadio: Judith Davis, Great White Pelican

A group of Florida birders and others gathered for a quick pose to celebrate seeing the Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, roosting with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

A group of wonderful Florida birders and others gathered for a quick pose to celebrate seeing the Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, roosting with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Posted in Birding News, Conservation, Environmental, Global Birding, Great White Pelican, Kymry Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment