Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/4/1996
Hotline Cooperative mailing list PROVIDED THAT no changes are made credit is given and headers are included. Queries and comments to CMBO please not to transcriber. You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending Jan. 4 1996 include sightings of SANDHILL CRANE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, EURASIAN WIGEON, RED-NECKED GREBE, KING EIDER, COMMON EIDER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER the one-millionth bird at the Avalon Seawatch local nature notes and news of upcoming programs and field trips.

Two SANDHILL CRANES are still being seen in the cornfields on Bayshore Rd. a short distance south of New England Rd. They are also sometimes seen in the field across from the Hidden Valley parking lot.

The remaining highlights come from preliminary information from the Cape May Christmas Bird Count held Dec. 31. Three COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULLS were seen: one at the outfall of Fishing Creek Marsh north of the Villas and two in the area of the Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive east of the Parkway.

Two NORTHERN SHRIKES were seen on the count. One was at West Wildwood but we have no further details; while one was seen flying north over Delaware Basy coming to land in the vicinity of Norbury's Landing.

A EURASIAN WIGEON probably the same bird that spent the fall on Cape May Point was seen at the Coast Guard Ponds.

The north/east Coast Guard Jetty reached from the Wildwood Crest beach had a RED-NECKED GREBE and 4 COMMON EIDERS on count day while the southern/western jetty had a KING EIDER.

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was in the dunes at Cape May Point at Whilden Ave.

Lily Lake has a nice assortment of diving ducks including five REDHEADS a CANVASBACK a LESSER SCAUP and a RING-NECKED DUCK.

The official Avalon Seawatch has ended; but birds continue to move south. Nine RAZORBILLS were seen on Jan. 1. More importantly the _one millionth_ bird was counted at the Seawatch on Jan. 1 1996; it was a BRANT.

This fall an astounding number of SAW-WHET OWLS were banded at Cape May Point and elsewhere. Through December 60 that chose to winter here had been found road-killed many along the Garden State Parkway. If you should find a road-killed owl check for a band on its legs possibly hidden by feathers. Record the number and send it to the Bird Banding Laboratory*. Please also note the date location (use the Parkway mileage posts if possible) and your name and send to Pat Sutton at CMBO so it can be logged in to the big picture we're piecing together.

*National Biological Service Bird Banding Laboratory 12100 Beech Forest Road Laurel MD 20708-4037

The heavy snow-fall to the north may be triggering a late push of owls. A LONG-EARED OWL was in a Cape May Point backyard Dec. 29. On Dec. 30 a road-killed Long-ear was found on the Canal bridge. And on Dec. 31 one was found on the Cape May count; it was present one day only near Higbee Beach. Keep your eyes open.

It is also a good year for SHORT-EARED OWLS in S. NJ; all the regular spots have lots of them. Seven were at Reed's Beach last week and Jakes Landing Turkey Point Hansey Creek and Manahawkin have all been good.

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 a send a request for info to CMBO P.O. Box 3 Cape May Point NJ 08212. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr. Cape May Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.

The Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from Cape May Atlantic and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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