Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/10/2002
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This recording was made on Thursday, January 10, 2002. Highlights from the last week include BELL'S VIREO, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, LARK SPARROW, SNOWY OWL, SANDHILL CRANE, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, AMERICAN BITTERN, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER.

A BELL'S VIREO first seen Dec. 16 has been seen as recently as Jan. 5 on Cape Island just north of West Cape May. From the north, take Seashore Road (Rt. 626) over the Cape May Canal. Continue about 0.6 miles and turn right (west) on Taylor Lane. After a short distance, Taylor Lane becomes a loop; head for the extreme southwest corner of the loop, to #23 Taylor Lane. Unfortunately, there is no number on the mailbox or on the house, but it is a beige house with green shutters, and the next door neighbor -- #21 does have their number on their mailbox. Number 23 has the only native thick brush remaining in the housing development. The bird is sometimes seen along the right side of the driveway in the brush, and sometimes in open areas to the east of the house, left of the house as viewed from the street. The owners have graciously given permission for birders to walk up and down the driveway, but please do not walk onto their newly planted yard, enter the brushy area, or enter the property of any neighbors. This is a sensitive issue in this neighborhood; please be careful.

A young male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was found in Cape May Point on December 8 and is still present as of Jan. 9. The bird has been frequenting feeders at 404 and 407 Central Avenue. Both feeders are easily seen from the street.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen in Cape May Point by the junction of Lake and Princeton on Jan. 9.

A LARK SPARROW first seen Dec. 16, continues through Jan. 9th near Cape May Court House. From Garden State Parkway exit 10, go west on Stone Harbor Blvd., which crosses Rt. 9 and becomes Court House South Dennis Road. Go 0.6 miles beyond the traffic light at Winding Way (Ames and Super Fresh on the right here) and look for a small "Firewood for Sale" sign on the left. Park opposite that sign on the right, and cross the 100-foot wide lawn to a brushy area; on the far side of the brush is an area with piles of garden debris this is where the LARK SPARROW is usually found.

A SNOWY OWL was seen at Stone Harbor Pt. on Jan. 9.

About a dozen flying SANDHILL CRANES were seen over Bridgeton on Jan. 5.

Cape May Point State Park continues to harbor lingering birds: an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen here on Jan. 4 and Jan. 5; a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was found Jan. 5 and 9; and 2 BALTIMORE ORIOLES were seen on Jan. 5. An AMERICAN BITTERN continues to frequent Bunker Pond in the Park, with recent reports from Jan. 4 and 5.

A WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL flew over the Taylor Lane Bell's Vireo site on Jan. 4.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen from Jakes Landing on Jan. 9.

BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS were reported from the Rea Farm on Jan. 8 and from West Cape May on Jan. 6.

Results are in, and the Cape May Christmas Bird Count, held Dec. 16, 2001, reached a new high for species with 167, found by 63 observers in 29 parties.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks that require no pre-registration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call 609-861-0700, go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org, or call our new natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466.

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to mark@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

*Documentation of Review List species goes to NJBRC at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman 08558

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