December 2021

     Warm autumn weather continued through December; we didn't get a hard freeze in our garden until December 15th.  Waterfowl were lingering in our ponds much later than usual, but there didn't seem to be any upswing in late migrating songbirds.  Very few irruptive species from the north, which sometimes show up at this time of year.  Accordingly our count of species on the Christmas Count was down; my little territory at Cape May Point has had as many as 112 species in the past year, this time our total was 94.  That's still a great variety, and coupled with continued great skyscapes, made it another nice month to be in Cape May.

Winter sunset over the Atlantic Ocean

  Above, left to right: Red-bellied Woodpecker, two Blue-winged Teal surround a Green-winged Teal, Great Blue Heron.

Below, left to right: Gray Catbird, Great Egret, Fox Sparrow, Red-shouldered Hawk

Five December sunsets and one moonrise

Red-throated Loon

Turkey Vulture


Hooded Mergansers

Cooper's Hawk

American Bittern


Blue Goose

Northern Pintail

Tundra Swan

Carolina Wren

Purple Sandpiper

Ruddy Turnstone

"Audubon's" form of Yellow-rumped Warbler, usually found only in the western US and Canada.

Northern Shoveler

Winter Wren