Autumn Weekend: Thursday
Reaching Philly at 5:30 a.m., I navigated through the usual number sequence -- 95, 76, 42, 55, 47, 9, 109 -- to reach the southernmost city in New Jersey. The rental car pulled into the birding mecca about two hours after it left the City of Brotherly Love.
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Uncle Bill's Pancake House lured me to it with the siren song of buttermilk pancakes, bacon and eggs. Love that place. The filling food and warm service provided a nice finish to the overnight travel.
After checking into the usual spot, Avondale by the Sea, I encountered two optics colleagues, one of whom invited me to visit the Meadows (aka The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge) on Sunset Boulevard -- that pink area. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)
Honestly, it felt so good to be outside -- despite the wind, rain and cold temperature -- that I didn't pay much attention to the birds. I noted Canada Geese, sparrows (which largely remain Little Brown Jobs for me) and Mallards.
When Clay and I reached the dunes, my brain recognized Great Black-backed Gulls on the sand. Mostly, I reveled in being in one of my favorite spots: Cape May.
We also visited the Second Avenue jetty, and Clay spotted a Black-throated Blue Warbler as it flew to shore from the ocean. When we got closer looks through our bins, the bird appeared to be catching its breath while sitting on the sand near the fence. What incredible plumage!
Birdchick appeared in mid-afternoon, and we stocked the hotel room's mini-fridge with snacks and pampered ourselves at Hale Nails before enjoying a fabulous meal at Freda's Cafe. (Like many restaurants in the city, Freda's is BYOB, so visit Collier's beforehand.)