Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/16/1997
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 16 include sightings of EARED GREBE, EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, SANDHILL CRANE, EURASIAN WIGEON, an announcement about an upcoming Pelagic Trip, news of the recent Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.

An EARED GREBE was found on January 15 on Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest. Sunset Lake is a large body of salt water in Wildwood Crest, part of the intercoastal waterway.

Two male EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL were seen on January 15 on the Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive west of the toll bridge. Two EURASIAN WIGEON were also there this week.

A SANDHILL CRANE continues to be seen sporadically around Cape May Point. It was seen this week on January 12.

CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and OREGON JUNCO continue to be seen in West Cape May near West and 2nd Avenues, seen this week on the 13th.

Other highlights include seven MARBLED GODWITS at the south end of Nummy Island on January 10, SOLITARY VIREO at Lake Nummy in Belleplain State Forest on the 10th, eleven PALM WARBLERS at Hidden Valley on the 12th, and two EASTERN PHOEBES at the Beanery on the 13th.

The mid-winter Bald Eagle Survey was held January 11 and 12. A tally of 133 BALD EAGLES (65adults and 68 immatures) and five GOLDEN EAGLES (1 adult and 4 immatures) were seen in South Jersey.

A brief announcement follows: The boat, the Miss Chris, out of Cape May is running a Pelagic Trip on Sunday, February 16th, from 5 AM to 5 PM. The cost is $50/person. The boat will be going 30-40 miles offshore and will be chumming to lure in seabirds. In the past this trip has enjoyed great looks at alcids, Razorbills, Great Skua 2 years, Puffin, and Common Murre 3 times. To register or for more information, call Captain Fred Ascoli at 609-884-3939.

Local Nature Notes follow: Winter weather has hit! Freezing and sub-zero temperatures continue. From Reeds Beach on January 15 the view out into the Delaware Bay was one of ice as far as the eye could see. Must be real hard on the birds and is forcing water birds into whatever open water they can find. Snow Geese are notorious for moving when winter weather becomes too severe. Flock after flock was seen crossing the Delaware Bay this week. They'll be back as soon as the next warm spell. American Holly trees are heavy with berries. Sumac fruit clusters stand out now. And it's time to search for large stick nests that Great Horned Owls will be using any day, they being our earliest nesting bird - on eggs by late January.

Some of CMBO's upcoming programs follow: The Cape May Bird Observatory's winter program schedule includes weekly "Owl & Hawk Watches at Jades Landing" every Friday, now through March 14th at 4:00 p.m. Weekly "Winter Bird Walks" meet every Sunday, now through March at 8:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. A special Members' Night will be held January the at the NEW CMBO in Goshen, with "a Birthday Party for New Jersey Audubon Society in its 100th Year!" scheduled for 7:30-9 p.m. Six "Owl Workshops" are scheduled: January 18, 25, February 1, 5, and 15. The "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" will be taught January 25-26, February 22-23, and March 29-30. A "Winter Raptors of Bear Swamp and the Delaware Bayshore" is scheduled for February 8, AND MUCH MORE!

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 our new Research and Education Center at 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 birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point, open every day except Tues. & Wednesday, 9-5. Our new Research and Education Center will not be open full time for visitors until April, but many of the indoor winter programs will be held there.

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 or on Tuesday and Wednesday to 609-861-0700. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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