The month of May always brings a flurry of activity to the natural world throughout northern temperate biomes. In 2021, the exuberent joy that May brings to naturalists was multiplied as the pace of vaccination made us all more comfortable being around friends and family. The songbird and shorebird migrations around Cape May weren't as exciting as they'd been the year before, but truthfully, we all needed a boost in 2020, and we were treated to an exceptionally good migration. This year it was back to normal, which in Cape May is still pretty darned good. Here are a few of my favorite photos from May 2021 around Cape May.
Horseshoe Crabs coming ashore to breed on the edge of Delaware Bay.
Spring birds at the South Cape May Meadows include (left to right): Lesser Yellowlegs, Red-winged Blackbird, Solitary Sandpiper.
A few of the warblers that show up here in May, left to right: Black-and-white Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Parula.
A pair of late May rarities: Wilson's Plover, left, only shows up here every once in a while, while Heermanns' Gull, at right, had never been seen in New Jersey before.
Horseshoe crabs massing to lay eggs on the shore of Delaware Bay
Red Knots and Ruddy Turnstones feed on horseshoe crab eggs
Above, l to r: Glossy Ibis, Barn Swallow, Ruby-throated Hummingbird on nest, Cedar Waxwing
Below, l to r: Common Yellowthroat, White Ibis (only the second year for this species nesting in our county), White-eyed Vireo