The tourists are mostly gone, but this time of year the Jersey Shore welcomes another crowd: our fine feathered friends.
Everywhere you look in what veteran birders consider to be the premier North American flyway, there are migrating bird species -- besides the ubiquitous squawking geese. The monarch butterflies put on a pretty good show, too.
To get into the high-flying spirit, one of the best things to do is to head to the Nature Center of Cape May, at 1600 Delaware Ave. in Cape May, for one of its seasonal programs.
The center has a full calendar of salt marsh safaris, magnificent migration events, and kayak eco-tours over the next three months. Special bird seed sales, plant swaps and children’s programs round out the offerings.
Because evenings are magical in Cape May Harbor and the marsh is full of mystery, the center created a program called First Friday Campfires, which will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 5, Nov. 2, and Nov. 30, weather permitting. Participants have a chance to take a hike and learn about the nocturnal creatures that call Cape Island home. Then everyone gathers around an old-fashioned campfire to roast marshmallows and listen to the sounds of the night. The cost is $5 per person and participants are instructed to dress warmly and bring their own camp/beach chairs. For information, call the Nature Center of Cape May at 609-898-8848 or go to www.philly.com/cmnature.