Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/23/2003
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, January 23, 2003. Highlights from the last week include LONG-BILLED CURLEW, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GOLDEN EAGLE, SHORT-EARED OWL, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, VIRGINIA RAIL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER.

Severe cold weather this week has caused most fresh water around Cape May to freeze, and large ice flows are also developing on Delaware Bay. Patterns of some wintering water birds are thus being disrupted.

The North Wildwood LONG-BILLED CURLEW was seen again on Jan. 18th, from the end of 19th Street. Best viewing for this bird is at lower tides from the west end of 26th, 19th, 17th, and 14th Streets in North Wildwood. An unspecified number of REDHEADS were also reported here on the 18th.

A first winter BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen at the Ferry Terminal in North Cape May on Jan. 19th.

A GOLDEN EAGLE was seen near Dividing Creek, Cumberland County, on Jan. 18th.

SHORT-EARED OWLS continue to be seen regularly in areas of open marsh. 2 were at Jakes Landing on Jan. 22nd, 2 at the Corbin City impoundments on the 19th, and one at The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows") on the 16th.

Four AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS were at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area on Jan. 19th, and two were at Turkey Point the same day. AMERICAN WOODCOCKS are being commonly seen around Cape Island, frequenting roadsides and trail sides where the sun has melted the snow and thawed sections of the frozen ground. VIRGINIA RAILS are similarly frequenting trail edges at Cape May Point State Park. NORTHERN GOSHAWKS are being seen regularly this winter around Cape Island. A few lingering birds are still around, too, including BALTIMORE ORIOLE on Foster Lane through at least the 22nd, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT at the State Park on the 19th and at The Meadows on the 18th, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at the State Park on the 21st, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at the State Park on the 19th and 2 at The Meadows on the 18th.

There is a pelagic trip scheduled out of Cape May on March 2nd with a weather date of March 9th. The trip will be targeting winter seabirds such as alcids, Fulmar, Kittiwakes, etc. It is aboard the Miss Chris and the cost is $90. Another trip is scheduled for March 15 leaving out of Lewes, DE. A February 1 pelagic trip from Belmar, NJ, is full. For information, contact See Life Paulagics at 215-234-6850 or check the web site at http://www.paulagics.com

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://cmbo.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 around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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