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.

About Kymry

Welcome to the KymryGroup. We will be showcasing photography by several different photographers with a Look in time from 1925 to the present. Share Business & Technology of Photography. Including adventures in the birding world and many other interesting insights and observations along the way.
This entry was posted in Bird Cape May Fall Festival, Birding News, Cape May NJ, Conservation, KymryGroup™, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bird Cape May Fall Festival

  1. Deb Kral says:

    Outstanding article!

  2. Jessica Pellien says:

    Fantastic article! 🙂 love this festival.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s