On a beautiful day at Two Mile Beach, the Carlin family donated and dedicated a new bench to the memory of their patriarch, John L. Carlin Sr. The new bench was installed directly across the walkway from the one the family donated in memory of John L. Carlin, Jr. in 2010. Three generations of the Carlin family took part in the dedication. The Carlin family has enjoyed the vistas and wildlife of the Two Mile Beach Unit for many years.
If you love nature, you will love being part of the Friends volunteer team. Whether you staff the Nature Store a few hours a week, lead walks to share the beauty of the Refuge with visitors, or help with special events throughout the year, you will be helping to promote and preserve an important natural area in Cape May County. To learn more, contact us at email@example.com.
Every day now, more ducks are arriving at the ponds along Ocean Drive at Two Mile Beach, where they will spend the winter. Black ducks, pintails, teal and more! Get a close-up look from the observation blind on the Marsh Trail.
Look for these large, stunning Cloudless Sulphur butterflies at our "wild meadow" in front of the Visitor Center at Two Mile Beach, 12001 Pacific Ave, Wildwood Crest. These southern butterflies move northward during late summer and early fall and use the yellow Partridge Pea in our meadow as a host plant. However, our cold northern winters make it difficult for them to overwinter here. (Photo by Jeffrey Pippen)
This summer, the Friends of Cape May National Wildlife Refuge sponsored their first-ever Summer Biology Intern on the Refuge, Miss Kelianne O’Shea.
Kelianne, a Cape May County resident and a sophomore at Delaware Valley University, performed a variety of tasks. She began her internship by assisting with the bat study at Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Pennsville, which is part of the Cape May NWR complex. Working with Refuge Biologist, Heidi Hanlon, Kelianne retrieved bat detectors and helped with a bat exit count at the famous “bat barn” at Supawna Meadows NWR . “During my first days, I was mainly focusing on the bat work the Refuge was performing. I would deploy and retrieve bat detectors, transfer bat data onto the computers, and also ride along for some bat driving transects,” she explained.
Kelianne also spent several days posting signs on some of the new property the refuge acquired, as well as helping to remove invasive plant species. One of the most challenging portions of her internship came during her work in the Refuge’s salt marshes. “The last few weeks I worked with Refuge Biologist, Mike Tolan, on SMI (Salt Marsh Integrity study). We were considered the “SMI Crew” and would go to the marsh units Cape May NWR was assigned and sample fish using throw traps and ditch nets,” she said.
Kelianne’s major at DelVal is Wildlife Conservation and Management. “My goal is to work as a bio tech or wildlife biologist for US Fish and Wildlife Service so this internship was a key aspect in my overall career goals. I have also considered working as a wildlife rehabilitator or game warden, but after having this internship experience it pretty much solidified that I want to work for US Fish and Wildlife Service,” she said.
Kelianne enjoyed this opportunity and made a positive impression on the Refuge staff. Biologist, Heidi Hanlon, commented, “Kel was a great asset to the Refuge this year. We could not have done all this great bio work without Kel and her support from the Friends group!”
Through their partnership agreement with the Refuge, the Friends group was able to pay for Kelianne’s expenses and provide a stipend for things such as specialized clothing and equipment needed for her job. This represents the first time the Friends group at Cape May NWR has been financially able to support the hiring of a Refuge “employee” in this way. “I feel this was a terrific use of our funds, and I hope this is the start of a long tradition,” John King, Friends’ Board Member, said. “It is very gratifying for us to be able to help not only the Refuge but also aspiring young students who have a keen interest in environmental and conservation careers.”
Kelianne appreciated the help that she received from the Friends. “I honestly cannot thank the partnership between the Refuge and Friends enough. I cherished the weeks that I was able to spend working along side the amazing staff at the Refuge. I am going back to college with much deeper knowledge and understanding of my field. I realize that I obtained this opportunity because of the Friends group and I cannot begin to thank everyone enough. I think this experience was life changing and I would recommend it to all students in my major if they are able to get an internship like I did. It helped me focus in on what I wanted to do with my future and I learned an immense amount of life skills and knowledge that I did not have before this internship. This was probably the best summer of my life and it was solely because of the Friends group and the Refuge staff I was able to work along side of.”
Friends of Cape May NWR is an all-volunteer non-profit group founded in 2009 to provide support for Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. To learn more about Friends or to become a member and support their mission, please visit www.friendsofcapemayrefuge.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Migration may be instinctive but it may not be easy and a wildlife refuge can provide a safe place to land when things get tough.
This Red-eyed Vireo came in across the beach and landed next to Beach Steward Amy on the Boardwalk Trail platform railing. It was likely blown offshore during its migration south and was lucky to find a safe spot like Two Mile Beach/CMNWR to rest after its harrowing journey across open water.
The vireo retreated to the safety of the bayberry shrubs soon after it posed for this victory photo.
A successful banding project at Cape May NWR is featured in the August edition of Friends Forward. Watch this video as the live birds check out the decoys carved by Cooper Rossner, a biological technician at the refuge.
Friends board members John King and Joe Smith – a licensed bird bander - along with volunteers from local environmental organizations banded seven of the eight birds nesting on the beach.
So far this year, chicks from three pairs of oystercatchers have fledged, and “we can track the birds we have. We can see if birds that aren’t successful here go to another beach, break up or stay together,” says Refuge Biologist Heidi Hanlon.
Funding for supplies came from the Friends of Cape MayNational Wildlife Refuge.
Thanks to all of our Friends members and volunteers who made this project possible.
The south bound migrating flocks shorebirds have been steadily increasing in numbers on the Two Mile Beach Unit of the Refuge this past week.
Also late summer wildflowers like partridge pea and goldenrod are in bloom.
Join our free, fun and family-friendly Saturday Nature Walk at Two Mile Beach and see what's buzzing. Meet at 9 am at the Two Mile Beach Visitor Center, (12001 Pacific Ave, Wildwood Crest). Free loaner binoculars are available.
Wandered around Indian Trail Swamp this afternoon. It's been so dry for months, and this west wind just sucks out moisture. There were none of those frog-puddles, normally full of calling Chorus Frogs and Peepers, along the trail. All dry. The stream is still flowing, but almost imperceptibly in spots. Eerily quiet for April here. And the record warmth of winter seems to have everything coming up, coming out, exploding. but signs of spring in the Swamp are still subtle and slowly beginning to emerge.
Sweet White Violet.
Sweet White Violets were in bloom in several spots. Note the long reddish stalks and purple-veined lower petal. Other notable plants today:
-Ironwood leaves emerging
-Blueberry and Huckleberries beginning to bloom here and there
-Garlic Mustard in bloom
-Bald Eagles (1 adult, 1 juv.)
-Turkey and Black Vultures