Now that I am on the east coast, I have been thinking of visiting Cape May for a few days later this spring. I have been looking at the NJ Audubon website to see their outings and classes. But one question remains unanswered for me.
I think it would be really awesome to see a Cape May Warbler at Cape May. But the descriptions on the website mention only broad groups like “shorebirds” and “songbirds.” This does not clue me in as to when the warbler migration might be, since warblers are only one of many families of “songbirds.” I have a rough idea based on my iNat research. Looking month-by-month, I see that the Cape May Warbler in March is still mostly on the wintering grounds in the Caribbean and Florida, although there are a few scattered all the way up the east coast:
By April, the migration is well underway, as they spill out of Florida into the Southeast:
By May, they are still pouring up the eastern seaboard, but are much more in the northeast and upper midwest:
And June is too late, because by then they are in Canada:
Of course, these are averaged over all years, but it suggests that late April to early May would provide the best oppoartunity to see them at Cape May. When I look at all observations of this species at Cape May, I see that by far the most are in October, that is, the southward migration; but I do not prefer that because then they will be in their duller autumnal plumage. I prefer to see them in their crisp, bright nuptial colors.
Does anyone have experience with that area and can advise me about this?