Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/30/2003
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 30, 2003. Highlights from the last week include LONG-BILLED CURLEW, ICELAND GULL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, COMMON EIDER, MARBLED GODWIT, WESTERN WILLET, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SHORT-EARED OWL, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, VIRGINIA RAIL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, COMMON MERGANSER, and AMERICAN BITTERN.

The North Wildwood LONG-BILLED CURLEW, not found during the most severe freezing weather, was seen again on Jan. 29th, 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.

A first winter ICELAND GULL has been seen Jan. 25th through at least the 28th around the southernmost toll bridge on Ocean Drive, in the commercial seafood processing area. An adult ICELAND GULL flew over Cape Island Creek on Jan. 24th.

A female HARLEQUIN DUCK was seen from Taylor Ave. in Strathmere on Jan. 23rd.

A first winter male COMMON EIDER has been at the Avalon Seawatch site from Jan. 25th through at least the 28th.

A MARBLED GODWIT was seen at Absecon Inlet on Jan. 26th, along with 7 WESTERN WILLETS and 80 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS.

Four ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were seen at Turkey Point on Jan. 27th.

SHORT-EARED OWLS continue to be seen regularly in areas of open marsh. 1 was seen at Jakes Landing on Jan. 25th, 2 seen here on the 26th, and one at The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows") on the 25th.

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. A VIRGINIA RAIL was seen on Jan. 24th along the boardwalk leading from Mt. Vernon Ave. to the beach in Cape May. NORTHERN GOSHAWKS are being seen regularly this winter around Cape Island. A BALTIMORE ORIOLE continues to frequent feeders on Foster Lane, near the Cape May Canal, our most recent report being Jan. 28th. COMMON MERGANSERS are being seen in a variety of locations around Cape May County. An AMERICAN BITTERN was seen at The Meadows on Jan. 29th, and one was seen along Ocean Drive on the same date.

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 215-234-6805 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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