Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/15/1998
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending January 15 include sightings of YELLOW RAIL, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, local nature notes, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

A brief announcement to registrants for the Friday January 16 and Saturday January 17 "Owl Workshops". The workshops will be held on both days. If some of you are coming from areas where this storm is more severe and would like to reschedule for another date, call 609-861-0700 to do so.

A YELLOW RAIL was flushed from the end of the Yellow trail in the State Park on January 13. Not surprisingly, it has not been relocated.

The GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW is still present at Cape May National golf course, last reported on January 12. A wintering Prairie Warbler is also present there.

The MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER has not been seen or heard since January 10, though attempts have been made to locate it.

Some half-hardy species continue to linger in the area of Cape May Point. HOUSE WREN and EASTERN PHOEBE are still present at Hidden Valley, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS were at Higbee Beach on the 14th and in the State Park on the 10th, BLUE-WINGED TEAL was in the South Cape May Meadows on the 9th, and a FORSTER'S TERN was at Sunset Beach on the 9th.

Other interesting sightings were: 5 MARBLED GODWITS, 6 WILLETS, and a RED KNOT at Hereford Inlet on the 14th, 3 COMMON EIDERS off Cape May Point on the 12th, 2 CANVASBACKS on Davey's Lake on the 13th, and 2 LITTLE BLUE HERONS at Two Mile Landing on the 14th.

Northern finch sightings have declined from earlier in the season, but a few RED CROSSBILLS are still being encountered.

The State Park still has at least 3 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, while one was is also in the Meadows.

A trip to the south end of Brigantine Island produced 8 MARBLED GODWITS, 3 WILLETS, 2 BLACK SKIMMERS, a SNOWY EGRET, 4 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, and an Orange-crowned Warbler. On the 11th, two HUDSONIAN GODWITS, extraordinary at this time of year, were seen at Brigantine Island.

Local Nature Notes follow: With a return to more winter-like temperatures the brief flurry of butterfly activity has evaporated. On the morning of January 14, with temperatures in the 20s, several American Woodcock could be heard peenting and performing their mating sky dance. Some persimmon trees are still holding their fruit, shriveled now but still attractive to Cedar Waxwings, Robins, and others. Great Horned Owls are probably on eggs now. Search for the woods for large stick nests built this past spring as these will be the ones used by Great Horned Owls.

CMBO's winter program schedule should have reached members by now; interested nonmembers should stop by or call for a copy. Some of our special preregistration Winter programs follow. 6 one-day courses, titled "All About Owls: Workshop & Field Trip," are scheduled for the following dates: Friday, January 16; Saturday, January 17; Friday, January 30; Saturday, January 31; and Wednesday, February 4. A Family Program on Owls will be held January 31st. Our Member's Night on January 21st will feature a program on "Monarchs in Winter, a slide program visit to Mexico" with Pat Sutton. The next Bird Watching for Beginners Course is scheduled for January 24 & 25. Two "Winter Raptors of the Delaware Bayshore" field trips will be offered: February 6 & 7. A program on "Backyard Terrorists at the Feeder" and how to cope with them will be offered by Chris Baker on February 7. And an "Ornithology 101" Course will begin March 3rd, every Tuesday evening for 6 weeks. Two different Sunday morning bird walks began in January, one at Cape May Point from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and one at CMBO's new Center in Goshen from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. If you are not a member and would like a copy of the Winter Program Schedule with all the details, stop by either center or call us at 609-861-0700.

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North. The center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature store, and a wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor, featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer, and carvers. CMBO's Northwood Center at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. Both the CMBO Center in Goshen and the Northwood Center in Cape May Point are open 10-5, every day except Tuesday & Wednesday.

The 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, and the Observatory, call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area, do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties and near shore waters. Updates are made on Thursday evenings, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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