Monday, October 27, 2008

Autumn Weekend Notes

This weekend was CMBO's Autumn Weekend, when birders from all over the country converge on Cape May for field trips, workshops, and talks from authors of bird books. Among the attendees for this year's conference were several bloggers – Laura, Susan, Delia, Sharon, Lynne, and Kathi, plus a blog reader and Jay from BirdJam. (Apologies to anyone I left out.) On Saturday night, I met the bloggers who attended the weekend activities over at the C-View (note: view of the sea not included) for dinner. I had a great time meeting people whose blogs I have been reading for years.

Unfortunately, my raptor demo had to be canceled on Saturday morning because of a lack of birds, and I only had one hawk (an AHY male Cooper's) for my Sunday demo, the last public demo that I will do this fall. So these demos may have been disappointing for Autumn Weekend participants. Anyone who stuck around the hawk watch a little longer on Sunday, however, got a special treat. Shortly after my regular demo ended, we banded a hatch year red-shouldered hawk, an uncommon species in Cape May, and I did an impromptu demo with that bird a little before noon.

After I released the red-shouldered hawk, a black-headed gull flew past the hawk watch platform, giving me a life bird.

This week looks like it ought to be very good for banding (and hawk watching). The forecast calls for strong northwest winds, chilly temperatures, and mostly sunny skies. Plus word is that there will be snow in New York and Pennsylvania. Maybe that will finally get the red-tails and goshawks moving.