You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Jan. 14 include: ROCK WREN, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, RAZORBILL, another Reed's Beach winter waterfowl concentration, RED-THROATED LOON, HARLEQUIN DUCK, PEREGRINE FALCON, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BALD EAGLE, local nature news, news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips, and a hearty wish for a happy and bird-filled new year.
The elusive ROCK WREN continues to be seen and was reported to this office Jan. 9, 11, and 13. Each time it was found on the beach near the base of the jetty just west of the Lake Drive dune access in Cape May Point. if you do not find the bird on the beach near the jetty, or on the dune nearby, look at the nearby site where it was originally found, which is a construction site on Lincoln Ave., across from 407 Lincoln.
The gray GYRFALCON, found near Fairton in Cumberland Co. on Jan. 2, has not been reported since.
Twenty-five BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were seen from Poverty Beach on Jan. 8; and the following day, Jan. 9, from Second Ave. jetty, an astounding 205 KITTIWAKES were seen, along with a RAZORBILL and 40 FORSTER'S TERNS. The huge waterfowl concentration found last winter in the waters of the Delaware Bay at Reed's Beach is happening again this year. On Jan. 12, close to 6000 RUDDY DUCKS, 520 CANVASBACKS, and over 3000 SCAUP were counted there. The 10,000 SNOW GEESE using the salt marshes here are also fun to watch.
RED-THROATED LOON numbers are growing. Fifty were seen in the waters of the Delaware Bay from the Concrete Ship on Jan. 13. Barnegat Inlet again has HARLEQUIN DUCKS. Eight were there on Jan. 8, while 2 PEREGRINE FALCONS perched on the Barnegat Lighthouse. The YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was seen again at Higbee's Beach on Jan. 11.
The midwinter Eagle Survey scheduled for Jan. 8-9 was truncated, due to eternal rain and the threat of frozen roads and snow. Yet on Jan. 8 in the pouring rain, CMBO volunteer eagle surveyors found no fewer than 20 Bald Eagles; so there are quite a few out there. The survey has been rescheduled for Jan. 15-17. If you should see any Eagles in south Jersey during this period, please call or write CMBO the following week, with details, including date, time, and location seen, the bird's activities (e.g. flying in a certain direction, feeding, hunting), any details on the bird's plumage and age, your name, and a number where you can be reached if we have further questions. Thanks for your help.
[Local nature notes follow.] Quite a concentration of Egrets has been present along Ocean Drive just beyond the toll bridge on your way to Wildwood Crest, including 3 imm. Little Blue Herons, several Great Egrets, six Snowy Egrets, and both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. A Seal was seen on Jan. 12 in Hereford Inlet by a surprised observer peeking over the seawall at the end of Surf Ave. [the observer or the seal?] A few Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have shown up lately around the Cape. American Holly berries and Catbrier berries are pulling in hungry Robins, Cedar Waxwings, White-throated Sparrows, and others right now.
[Program announcements omitted. -LL]
Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and conservation unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, phone our office at 609-884-2736 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.