Fall migration ramps up to full speed in September, and the hawk watch platform at Cape May Point State Park becomes a center of birding activity and information. Hawks may be the headliners, but there's a lot more going on around Cape May during September. Songbird migration reaches its peak for many species this month, and there are plenty of water birds on the move, too. Southbound monarchs pour into the Cape during the fall, with the season's first major push usually occuring this month. I was out of town for the first half of September this year, but home long enough to capture a few highlights, which I share here.
The sky tells us that the season is changing; midsummer clouds just don't look like this.
Raptors, like the Osprey,above, are migrating in September, and so are sonbirds, including Red-eyed Vireo (right), and (below, left to right): Yellow Warbler, Northern Parula, and Cape May Warbler.
Above: Migrating flock of White Ibis
Top left: Eurasian Wigeon behind two American Wigeons
Lower left: Immature Black-crowned Night-Heron
Monarch butterflies are an autumn highlight in Cape May, whether a roosting cluster (left) or an individual taking nectar in a garden. The Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project tags many monarchs, below, to track their migrations.