You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of
the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.
Highlights for the week ending Jan. 12 include: NORTHERN
SHRIKE, a major ALCID flight at Avalon, continuing
RED-NECKED GREBE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, MARBLED GODWIT,
EURASIAN WIGEON, and SPOTTED TOWHEE, highlights of the
EAGLE survey, and local nature notes.
A NORTHERN SHRIKE was found on Jan. 11 at Higbee Beach. It
was also seen today, Jan. 12. It is most regularly seen
along the east edge of the pond field, although it is not
always easy to find.
CMBO's Sea Watch at the north end of Avalon at Seventh
Street is still underway, and a major alcid flight was
witnessed from that location on Jan. 11. Twenty-one
RAZORBILLS were identified, while another 84 birds were
labeled "unidentified" alcids. One flock contained 33
birds. There may have been double that number of birds,
since flocks were too far offshore to be sure.
RED-NECKED GREBES are still being seen off Nummy Island,
with one there Jan. 8; two MARBLED GODWITS are also being
seen on the mudflats near the toll bridge.
The drake KING EIDER at the Cape May Point state park was
NOT seen this week; still being seen, however, are the
COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL and now two EURASIAN WIGEONS along
Ocean Drive at the Coast Guard pond. The SPOTTED TOWHEE is
also still being seen at the corner of Sea Grove and
Lighthouse in Cape May Point.
Other interesting sightings in the area this week included:
a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER near Lily Lake on Jan. 8; a
WHITE-EYED VIREO on Sea Grove Ave., also Jan. 8; 3
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS along Ocean Drive in the Coast
Guard pond on Jan. 10; and a CHIPPING SPARROW at Higbee
Beach Jan. 12.
This looks like an excellent winter for SHORT-EARED OWLS.
Good spots include: Jakes Landing in Cape May County;
Hansey Creek, Turkey Point and Fortescue in Cumberland Co.;
Leed's Point Road, Brigantine NWR, and Corbin City Wildlife
Mgmt. Area, in Atlantic Co. Volunteers for the mid-winter
BALD EAGLE survey reported SHORT-EARS Jan. 7-8 from all
these locations, some hunting all day long in Saturday's
On Jan. 8, an influx of N. PINTAILS and other waterfowl was
noted on the Maurice River, with 680 Pintails, 1000+ Black
Ducks, and a number of Mallards. Sixty-plus volunteer
observers had a very successful Bald Eagle Survey Jan. 7-8.
Sixty-seven Eagles were discovered in southern NJ,
including 27 adults and 36 immature BALD EAGLES and 4
GOLDEN EAGLES. Hot spots included Cohansey River, Stow
Creek, Mannington Marsh, Bear Swamp, Maurice River,
Brigantine, and Leed's Point, Tuckahoe River, Lake Lenape,
and Lake Manahawkin. Four GOLDEN EAGLES were all on the
Atlantic side of the state; one was at Leed's Point, one at
Brigantine, and two were at Harrisville Pond. Some good
sightings by Eagle observers included a River Otter at Lake
Lenape, and an Bald Eagle fishing there, as well as the
Short-eared Owls mentioned earlier.
Local nature notes: The back bay waters behind the barrier
islands at Stone Harbor and Avalon are again full of winter
waterfowl, Brant, Buffleheads, and Common Loons; numbers of
Oldsquaws can now be found in the ocean surf. A large seal
has been seen repeatedly in Hereford Inlet, most recently
on Jan. 8 when it was sunning on the bank of the creek
mouth at Nummy Island. Bald Eagles have begun courtship and
in at least one case have already consummated that
courtship. It's a good time to look in bare trees for used
nests, roost holes and insect cocoons.
[Program notes omitted -LL]
Fine print: Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and
education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim
is to perpetuate and preserve the ornithological
significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these
goals and this birding hotline. For more information
regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips,
phone our office or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May
Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our
headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. The
Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] is a service of
Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from Cape
May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas.
Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if
warranted. [Compiled by CMBO staff; transcribed by L.
Larson (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.