Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/17/2002
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 17, 2002. Highlights from the last week include BELL'S VIREO, LARK SPARROW, EURASIAN WIGEON, SNOWY OWL, LITTLE GULL, BROWN PELICAN, AMERICAN BITTERN, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, INDIGO BUNTING, and the apparent departure of a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD.

A BELL'S VIREO first seen Dec. 16th has been seen as recently as Jan. 12th on Cape Island just north of West Cape May. The bird has been subsequently missed by some birders, but there have been previous intervals as long as 6 days without the bird being seen; it's too early to conclude that the bird is gone. 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 LARK SPARROW first seen Dec. 16th, was seen again Jan. 16th 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. Many other birds have been found at this site, including AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.

A EURASIAN WIGEON was seen at the Coast Guard Ponds, along Ocean Drive in Wildwood Crest, on Jan. 15.

A SNOWY OWL continues to be seen at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, with reports through today, Jan. 17th. The owl is most frequently seen in the east pool.

A flock of 15 to 20 RED CROSSBILLS was seen on Jan. 12th along the Manumuskin River in Cumberland County. A single COMMON REDPOLL was seen the same day along Robbinstown Rd., near Port Norris in Cumberland County.

Two LITTLE GULLS and a single BROWN PELICAN were seen offshore from Cape May Point on Jan. 13th.

An AMERICAN BITTERN continues to frequent Bunker Pond in Cape May Point State Park, our most recent report being Jan. 12th. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was also seen in Cape May Point State Park on the 12th. Other reports of lingering birds include an INDIGO BUNTING seen at Hidden Valley on Jan. 15th.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, light morph, was seen at Jakes Landing on Jan. 14th.

The young male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD seen in Cape May Point from December 8 through January 12th seems to be gone, the last reported sighting was early Saturday morning the 12th.

Preliminary results from the statewide Bald Eagle survey, held last weekend, show 118 Bald Eagles found across New Jersey. Check our natural history and events hotline for more details.

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 our new natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call 609-861-0700 during business hours, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

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 CapeMayReports@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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