Fall Migration
1 - This Striking Black and White Warbler takes a quick break from insect hunting for this photo.  Taken in Cape May, NJ in early September

1 - This Striking Black and White Warbler takes a quick break from insect hunting for this photo.  Taken in Cape May, NJ in early September

One of the most exciting times for anyone in the southern New Jersey area who is  interested in birds is the migration period.  Every year there is a spring and fall migration that brings a large volume of birds as well as a diverse variety through our area.  For this past fall migration I went to a lot of different places around southern NJ to find as many migrating birds as I could, it was a really good year for me!

2 - A beautiful male American Kestrel flies over the dunes at Cape May State Park in early September.

Another great part of fall migration is the lovely weather!

3 - A female Black-Throated Blue Warbler perches in a cedar tree at Cape May State Park in early September.

During migration a lot of the birds are simply passing through so we get a chance to see a lot of birds that don’t spend too much time in the area and live and breed either north of south of here.  Early fall is the perfect time to get out and see all these birds including a wide variety of warblers that do not spend the winter here.  Towards the end of the fall season we start to see some of the birds that will be spending the winter with us who are arriving from parts further north.  Another great part of fall migration is the lovely weather!

4 - I found this White-Breasted Nuthatch doing a classic pose at Washington Lake Park in mid September.

5 - A Red-Eyed Vireo at Palmyra Cove Nature Park towards the end of September.

6 - A pretty female Magnolia Warbler in Cape May in late September.

7 - An Eastern Palm Warbler in Cape May in late September.

Sometimes it’s just better to get out there even if you don’t have time to get to the “best” locations.

8 - A bright Blackburnian Warbler hops from branch to branch in Cape May in late September.

9 - A flying Northern Flicker displays the bright underside of its wings in Cape May in late September.

Almost every location is good to find migrating birds.  Some locations can be better than others but even a local park can provide an interesting variety of birds that you wouldn’t normally find.  In southern New Jersey the Cape May area is well known for its concentration of birds during migration due to the geography of the area, so I do tend to visit there a few times in the fall.  Another one of my favorite spots to visit during migration is Palmyra Cove Nature Park, it’s a hidden little gem among a very populated area and does a great job of attracting good numbers of migrating birds.  When short on time I’ll also stop at Timber Creek Park within a 5 minute drive from my home and usually still find it to be good birding, even with the dog park there!  Sometimes it’s just better to get out there even if you don’t have time to get to the “best” locations.

10 - A Yellow-Billed Cuckoo hides in a holly tree at Island Beach State Park in the beginning of October.

11 - A cute Red-Breasted Nuthatch perched on a pine cone at Island Beach State Park in early October.

12 - A handsome Eastern Towhee at Island Beach State Park in early October.

13 - A female Purple Finch at Harold Peek Preserve in Millville, NJ in mid October.

14 - A Pine Siskin in my parent’s back yard in Vineland, NJ in mid October.

15 - A tiny Ruby-Crowned Kinglet perched on a branch at Timber Creek Park in early November.

16 - A shy Hermit Thrush on the ground at Tuchahoe/Corbin City Wildlife Management Area.

Since this year’s fall migration has passed, your next chance to get out and enjoy the bird migration will be the coming spring.  Even without the birds it is always just nice to get outside, you can use it as an excuse!  If you are interested in giving it a try yourself or if you are just curious about the different locations I took these photos at, I’m going to list them below with a link to a map of each location and the date the photo was taken.  I use a GPS to tag the location of each photo so they are pretty much exactly where I took them on the map.  As always, thanks for reading and happy birding.

01 - Black and White Warbler - 9/10/12 - Cox Hall Creek Wildlife Management Area - Cape May, NJ

02 - American Kestrel - 9/10/12 - Cape May State Park - Cape May, NJ

03 - Black-Throated Blue Warbler - 9/10/12 - Cape May State Park - Cape May, NJ

04 - White-Breasted Nuthatch - 9/15/12 - Washington Lake Park - Washington Township, NJ

05 - Red-Eyed Vireo - 9/20/12 - Palmyra Cove Nature Park - Palmyra, NJ

06 - Magnolia Warbler - 9/24/12 - Cox Hall Creek Wildlife Management Area - Cape May, NJ

07 - Palm Warbler (Eastern) - 9/24/12 - Cox Hall Creek Wildlife Management Area - Cape May, NJ

08 - Blackburnian Warbler - 9/24/12 - Cox Hall Creek Wildlife Management Area - Cape May, NJ

09 - Northern Flicker - 9/24/12 - Cox Hall Creek Wildlife Management Area - Cape May, NJ

10 - Yellow-Billed Cuckoo - 10/1/12 - Island Beach State Park - Seaside Park, NJ

11 - Red-Breasted Nuthatch - 10/1/12 - Island Beach State Park - Seaside Park, NJ

12 - Eastern Towhee - 10/1/12 - Island Beach State Park - Seaside Park, NJ

13 - Purple Finch - 10/14/12 - Harold Peek Preserve - Millville, NJ

14 - Pine Siskin - 10/22/12 - Parent’s back yard - Vineland, NJ

15 - Ruby-Crowned Kinglet - 11/4/12 - Timber Creek Park, Blackwood, NJ

16 - Hermit Thrush - 11/12/12 - Tuckahoe/Corbin City Wildlife Management Area - Corbin City, NJ

 

Nature photography has become a very passionate hobby of mine and whenever I get a chance I love to get outside and enjoy being outdoors. I am also the co-owner of KGM Expressions, a wedding and portrait photography business, with my wife Kim. This is how we make our living and I love that we get to do that together.