Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cape May

We spent 4 nights at Cape May.   I was enchanted from the first day.  We started the first morning at sunrise at Cape May Lighthouse. 

The lighthouse is tall and stately, and the beam still shines brightly.  

I always try to look around at my surroundings when I'm photographing. I noted the sky away from the lighthouse was filled with these lovely pink tinted clouds. So I'm playing with a composition taken before the sun was up, with the light shining and the pink clouds.  All true to what was there that morning, but I think this version still needs work.

After taking care of trying for dawn and lighthouse shots, I headed over to where the Hawk Watch was going on.  For several years, I've heard  and read about hawk watches. During the fall migrations, people pick places with high numbers of passing raptors and count them as they go by. Some are volunteers, some are paid.  It was on my list of things to attend sometime because you can learn so much about identifying raptors when you have so many passing over you in one day. But more importantly, you are surrounded by folks who really know how to identify hawks even when they are far away and only specs in the sky. 

While the day started sunny, there was a cloud bank coming in.

You could see getting larger and larger and filling the sky.

Before too long, it was dark and hard to see the hawks.

I did have a couple of people who were helping me identify the hawks and other species flying by. I think the most amazing thing was when the gentleman next to me spotted and identified a flock of blue jays just by the way the flock was grouping as they flew.  And . . . I had NEVER seen a flock of blue jays - only individuals. The tree sparrows also came by in large flocks and looked ever so much like a swarming bunch of gnats as they crossed the sky.  The raptor identification was still hard, but I saw a sharp shinned hawk, a Cooper's hawk, a merlin, and a peregrin that morning.

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