Gannets, Goldens, and Sunrise

Finally the time of year has arrived when you don’t have to get up quite so early to see the sunrise. The past couple of mornings have been spectacular walking weather on Higbee Beach in Lower township. It’s true, sunrise seekers are better suited on Poverty Beach on the East end of Cape May, however for natural beauty in secluded settings, nothing beats Higbee Beach.

Higbees 2

Making the past few mornings even more spectacular has been the arrival of migrating white Gannets. You may not be sure what you’re seeing at first; streaks of undulating white images just over the water is the first impression. These birds appear almost angelic like gleaming in the sun, now rising over the dunes.  A quick check of the Cape May Bird Observatory blog archives confirms they were here last year around April 22nd.

Confirmation comes in the form of a reply on Twitter from Richard Crossley,  author of the Crossley ID Guide, a stunningly illustrated series on bird identification.  Crossley revolutionized field guide design by providing the first real-life approach to identification, according to his Twitter bio.

250px-Morus_bassanus_9Gannet  Full disclosure: I am not a regular bird watcher, I am a walker of Bird dogs.  Joy,  my golden retriever, accompanied by her two Braque D’Auvergne friends Jack and Bix, roam Higbee Beach well before sunrise burning off energy so their owners can get some work done.  Mornings offer a glimpse into the unusual sightings of migrating birds, that sadly not many people venture out to see.  Special mornings like the past few, might be a return on the investment of many, many morning walks that are not quite as pleasant but still worthwhile.

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