Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/27/2005
This is the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, January 27th. Highlights from the last week include PAINTED BUNTING, RAZORBILL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, COMMON EIDER, GREAT CORMORANT, and news of wintering birds.

An adult male PAINTED BUNTING has continued through at least Jan. 25th. It has been visiting feeders at 693 and 688 Weeks Landing Rd., just west of Rt. 626 in Erma, and also being seen sometimes at rest in nearby shrubs. The feeders at both houses may be seen from the street; please do not enter private property, bird only from the street. As the road is very narrow here, please park by the Vietnam Veterans of America building or near Cape May Electric, both close to Rt. 626, and walk the very short distance down the road to the houses.

RAZORBILLS continue to be a winter highlight along the southern New Jersey coast; our most recent report is of a single bird off Avalon on Jan. 25th.

Three HARLEQUIN DUCKS were found at the Cold Spring Inlet on Jan. 25th, an area best accessed through the Two Mile Beach Unit of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge.

Four COMMON EIDERS were seen in the ocean off Sea Isle City on Jan. 25th. A female COMMON EIDER was amidst the pilings off the Cape May Coast Guard Base (visible from Poverty Beach) and a GREAT CORMORANT sat on one of the pilings here on Jan. 21st.

AMERICAN WOODCOCKS typically show up on lawns and roadsides around Cape May when the ground freezes inside the forests where they overwinter. This has happened recently, with eleven counted along Sunset Blvd. between Stevens and Lighthouse on Jan. 25th, two in Cape May Point State Park the same day, and one or two seen many days just outside the CMBO Northwood Center.

Five SANDHILL CRANES flew over downtown Bridgeton, Cumberland County, on Jan. 21st.

Raptors are an annual winter highlight in southern New Jersey. Reports from the last week include SHORT-EARED OWLS at Newport Landing and the Corbin City WMA; ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS at Jakes Landing, Corbin City, Tuckahoe WMA, along the Mullica River, and the Maurice River. Twenty BALD EAGLES were counted along the Mullica River on Jan. 25th, 19 along the Maurice River on the 24th, and 8 along the Great Egg Harbor River on the 21st. GOLDEN EAGLES were at Tuckahoe on the 21st and the Mullica River on the 25th.

Stormy weather kept many birders at home, but backyard birding has been productive. A ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK is frequenting feeders in Goshen. Four PURPLE FINCHES were at feeders in Cape May on Jan. 22nd. An EASTERN SCREECH-OWL has settled into a backyard owl box on Cape Island. A COMMON REDPOLL visited a feeder in Cape May Point. Both RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH are frequenting feeders at the CMBO Northwood Center.

ANNOUNCEMENT: See Life Paulagics is running a pelagic trip on Sunday, March 6 out of Cape May for winter seabirds. The cost is $100. Call 215-234-6805 or see their web site at http://www.paulagics.com for more information.

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://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 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!

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