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. 19 include: NORTHERN
SHRIKE, LITTLE GULL, ICELAND GULL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, and
local nature notes.
The NORTHERN SHRIKE which was originally found on Jan. 11
at Higbee Beach, was found again Saturday, Jan. 14, at
Hidden Valley Ranch, on the hedgerow running east-west from
the small pond at the back of the second field. It was
seen again on the morning of Jan. 15 but has not been seen
An adult LITTLE GULL was seen at Norbury's Landing on Jan.
15. It was in the company of several hundred Bonaparte's
Gulls along with 6 [? - nearly inaudible] FORSTER'S TERNS.
A first-winter ICELAND GULL was found at the Cape May Point
State Park today, Jan. 19. It was seen again later in the
day at the Second Ave. Jetty but then flew off to the
[Qty inaudible] female HARLEQUIN DUCKS were seen at the
Concrete Ship Jan. 15; no repeat sightings have been
reported. RED-NECKED GREBES are still being reported off
Nummy's Island... as recently as Jan. 18. Two MARBLED
GODWITS are also being seen on the mudflats near the toll
Two male EURASIAN WIGEONS and a COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL
are still along Ocean Drive near the Coast Guard pond. A
SPOTTED TOWHEE is still being seen at Sea Grove and
Lighthouse Aves. in Cape May Point.
Other interesting sightings this week included: AMERICAN
BITTERN and a VIRGINIA RAIL at the South Cape May Meadows
on Jan. 18?; and an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW at the State Park
on the same day. Also, a first winter LESSER BLACK-BACKED
GULL was at the Ferry terminal on Jan. ??.
CMBO's Sea Watch at Seventh Street in Avalon has finally
wound down though Fred Mears and Dave Ward continue to
check it at dawn and dusk. The weather, one of the warmest
January's in history, ...proved by the Coast Guard Pond
along Ocean Drive between Cape May and Wildwood Crest. It
held 60+ N. PINTAIL and 70+ GREEN-WINGED TEAL Jan. 17.
These ducks normally hug the ice line, moving into the area
in early spring with the thaw. This year that line is well
north of Cape May County....
A SNOWY OWL was seen Jan. 16 from the north dike at
Brigantine NWR. The night of Jan. 17 a COMMON BARN OWL was
heard over Cape May Point. This is an excellent winter for
SHORT-EARED OWLS; good spots include Jakes Landing (Cape
May Co.); Hansey Creek, Fortescue, and Turkey Point
(Cumberland Co.); Leed's Point Road and Brigantine NWR and
Corbin City WMA (Atlantic Co.).
A mini-pelagic trip has been scheduled for Saturday, March
11, 8 AM - noon. For more information, contact Dave Githens
(609) 884-3712 for more details.
Local nature notes:
Good numbers of American Oystercatchers are wintering at
Hereford Inlet and Nummy Island. The warm weather is
triggering some real unusual January experiences, like a
Spring Peeper heard on Jan. 13 at Higbee Beach; and 3
species of BUTTERFLIES have been glimpsed: Orange Sulphur
in Goshen (Cape May Co.) on Jan. 13, when temperatures were
at 68 F; a Mourning Cloak and a Question Mark type on Jan.
14 near Thorofare (Gloucester Co.).
[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 (email@example.com).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.