Cape May’s position at the end of a long strip of land and jutting out into the ocean means that it funnels all birds down to the tip. We should thank the US department responsible for having the foresight to preserve and make available so much of the land. The norm is for the dollar to buy up and make private such places but Cape May State Park and the adjacent wildlife management areas are hopefully there in perpetuity for both birds and birders.
Cape May town is a seaside town, is very busy and typically caters for a broad range of tastes. As birders you can just ignore it as the place to pass through to the birding locations until evening comes and you want to eat, there are plenty of places although I’d avoid anything that mentions toffu or lentils. The twon is a slow drive through and there are plenty of cops seeing that you stick to the speed limits and don’t maim any of the many erratic rent-a-cyclists.
Our first evening saw us wind down on the beach, not deck chair and knotted hankie style but stood amongst a swirling mass of Foster’s Terns and Black Skimmers. They swirled largely because beach walkers and joggers (possibly just after eating a healthy bowl of lentils) repeatedly flushed the birds.
Other denizens of the beach were noisy groups of Royal Terns with the adults trailed by their ever begging young. Lots of gulls loafed as usual including many Laughing Gulls. Shorebirds were few and far between but a single American Oystercatcher joined us just out of photo range and a little skitter (new collective name) of Sanderlings skittered, well they would wouldn’t they! Also around were Fish Crows, nah nahing in small groups and at sea a surprise, an adult Pomarine Jaeger was chasing down anything with a beak full. Reading up, poms are scarce but annual, we were just lucky.