Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/2/1997
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.

The major highlight for the week of January 2 is the continuing presence of a NORTHERN LAPWING, north of Goshen along Route 47. The bird is being seen in farm fields west of Route 47 between .3 and .7 miles north of the intersection of Goshen Landing Road and Route 47. Please stay on the road shoulder to view this bird. Respect both the private property and the privacy of local residents. Please encourage others to do the same if you see any evidence of discourtesy. It would also be helpful if parking was restricted to the west side of the road. The parking lot at the new CMBO center, about .7 mile north of where the bird is being seen, can be used for turning around.

Other highlights this week include SANDHILL CRANE, BELL'S VIREO, SNOWY OWL, KING EIDER, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.

A SANDHILL CRANE was seen today, January 2, in the horse field at Hidden Valley Ranch. That is the third field to the west beyond the small pond.

The BELL'S VIREO was seen this week on December 28 at Hidden Valley Ranch. It is not seen often, but usually with a small flock of Palm Warblers and is often seen in the center, not the edges of the first field.

Two SNOWY OWLs were seen at Brigantine NWR this week, as recently as today, January 2. The birds are perching within the impoundment in the southeast corner of the East Pool. Brigantine also is hosting huge numbers of waterfowl, including SNOW GEESE, PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, BLACK DUCK, SHOVELERS, a handful of TUNDRA SWANS, and a EURASIAN WIGEON.

The KING EIDER continues to be seen at the jetty at the north end of Reed's Beach. It was seen as recently as today, January 2.

Other highlights this week include two CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS and an "Oregon" JUNCO on 2nd Ave in West Cape May, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at the parking lot at SCMM on the 30th of December, continuing REDHEAD and EURASIAN WIGEON on Lily Lake, and a NORTHERN GOSHAWK near the state park on the 31st of December.

Highlights from the Belleplain Christmas Count held December 29th included four BALTIMORE ORIOLES together at Jake's Landing Road just beyond the guard rail on the main road, five PINE WARBLERS together at the same site, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT also at Jake's, and SOLITARY VIREO on Route 557 just north of Pine Swamp Road.

Local Nature Notes follow: Short-eared Owls were absent on both the Cape May and the Belleplain Christmas Bird Counts, counts which normally have good numbers. We're wondering if Short-ears are common anywhere this winter. Anyone care to enlighten us? Numbers of Oldsquaws can be enjoyed in the surf now along the Oceanfront. Bonaparte Gulls are quite easy to study now too as they feed around the jetties in Cape May Point. They're very dainty and so seem more tern-like than gull-like. Fox Sparrows are in. Adult Bald Eagles are paired up and on territory; they might be found near their nests.

This year's Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey is scheduled for January 11 and 12. Please share your bald eagle sightings with us here at CMBO so that we can be sure to have observers at all known eagle hotspots for the survey! American Holly trees are heavy with berries. Sumac fruit clusters stand out now as most of the leaves have fallen. With the leaves fallen it's time to search for large stick nests that Great Horned Owls might use for their nests in less than a month, they being our earliest nesting bird - on eggs soon.

Some of CMBO's upcoming programs follow: The Cape May Bird Observatory's winter program schedule includes weekly "Owl & Hawk Watches at Jakes 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 Weeklong Birding Workshop for Hawks, Owls, and Winter Waterfowl will be led and taught January 6-10th by Pat and Clay Sutton and Pete Dunne. There's still room; call for the weeklong workshop flyer and registration form. A special Members' Night will be held January 15th 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 office at 609-884-2736 or send a request for information to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in thearea do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open every day except Tues. & Wednesday, 9-5.

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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