Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/3/2002
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 03, 2002. Highlights from the last week include BELL'S VIREO, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, LARK SPARROW, SNOWY OWL, WILSON'S WARBLER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, RED CROSSBILL, SNOWY EGRET, and SHORT-EARED OWL.

A BELL'S VIREO first seen Dec. 16 has been seen as recently as Jan. 3 on Cape Island just north of West Cape May. From the north, take Seashore Road over the 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 CLAY-COLORED SPARROW is also being seen at 23 Taylor Lane, our most recent report being from Dec. 31. Another CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen in Cape May Point, on Coral Ave., on Dec. 30.

A young male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was found in Cape May Point on December 8 and was still present as of Jan. 2. The bird has been frequenting feeders at 404 and 407 Central Avenue. Both feeders are easily seen from the street.

A LARK SPARROW first seen Dec. 16, continues through Jan. 2nd 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 area to the right, to a brushy area where there are piles of garden debris. The LARK SPARROW has been seen here along with other sparrows.

A SNOWY OWL continues to be seen at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, most recently reported Jan. 2. The owl is most frequently seen near the center of the east pool.

A WILSON'S WARBLER has been frequenting Cape May Point State Park, in the brushy area along the Yellow Trail just beyond its junction with the red trail. Our most recent report is from Jan. 1.

Highlights from the Cumberland Christmas Bird Count, held on Dec. 23, include an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at the west end of Sheppard Davis Road, northwest of Cedarville, three RED CROSSBILLS along Ackley Rd. in the Bevan Wildlife Management Area, and a lingering SNOWY EGRET at Turkey Point.

SHORT-EARED OWLS seem to have finally arrived in south Jersey. Two were reported from Hansey Creek in Cumberland County on Jan. 1, one was seen from Jakes Landing Rd. on Jan. 1, and one was found over the Fortescue Glades on Dec. 30.

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

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 mark@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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