October

Passerines, especially short distance migrants such as kinglets, thrushes, creepers and sparrows, and raptors continue to head south. While Cape May is fast becoming the premier raptor site, peak fall foliage towards the end of the month at Hawk Mountain is hard to beat. Vast numbers of scoters can be seen heading south along the coast and the sea watch at Avalon is the best place to witness this spectacle. This is also a good month for rarities, with Cape May County usually producing several goodies.



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    Any of the area Hawk Watches

    The Hawk Watch in Cape May will peak in diversity this month, and sometime near the end of the first week of October will be the big Peregrine day or days with over 200 possible in one day.

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    Tuckerton Marshes, NJ

    The beginning of the month sees the arrival of migrant Nelson’s and Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows joining resident Saltmarsh Sharp-tails.
    eBird Hotspot

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    Hawk Mountain, PA

    Peak fall foliage towards the end of the month and the chance for a dozen raptor species.
    eBird Hotspot

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    Cape May, NJ

    Songbird migration will now be mostly sparrows with the warblers being dominated by Yellow-rumped Warblers, but enough other species are present to keep it interesting. Higbee Beach is still a good place to bird, but it is often better to try less crowded places like the Rae Farm or Hidden Valley this time of year. On cold mornings it pays to seek out sunny corners out of the wind because the birds will be doing the same thing. The invasive Porcelain Vine can often be good to check for lingering warblers or vireos.

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    Sea Watch at Avalon

    Seabird Watching starts in October with the sea watch at the North end of Avalon the best place to view the spectacle of thousands of sea ducks heading South as well as Gannets, Loons, Cormorants and many others.
    Avalon Seawatch webpage
    eBird Hotspot

All images © A & J Binns

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