Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/7/2010
This is the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This week's message was prepared on Thursday, January 7, 2010. Highlights this week include sightings of BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, RAZORBILL, CACKLING GOOSE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, SORA, EURASIAN WIGEON, SANDHILL CRANE, TUNDRA SWAN, SHORT-EARED OWL, COMMON EIDER, and a report on the Cape May Christmas Bird Count held January 1, 2010.

-For more up-to-the-minute Cape May sightings information and downloadable birding map of Cape May, visit http://www.birdcapemay.org .

Two adult BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were seen off the Third Dune Crossover on Friday January 1st 2010, and others were seen at the Second Avenue Jetty, Cape May City on Saturday January 2, 2010.

A RAZORBILL was reported at the Avalon 8th Street Jetty on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010.

A CACKLING GOOSE has been seen around Cape Island, last seen in the filed between Sea Grove Avenue and Sunset Boulevard on Wednesday January 6th 2010.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen at Cold Spring Inlet on Friday January 1st 2010.

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER has been noted throughout the Cape May Point State Park, last being seen at the start of the Red Trail on Tuesday January 5, 201

A SORA was found in Green Creek along the Bayshore on Friday, January 1st, 2010.

Six EURASIAN WIGEONS continue on Lighthouse Pond as of Friday, January 1st, 2010. There are 3 Males and 3 Females

A SANDHILL CRANE has been staying at the Villas WMA, last seen on Thursday January 7th, 2010.

A flyby NORTHERN GOSHAWK was seen along Route 47 in Dennisville on Thursday January 7th 2010

Six TUNDRA SWANS can be found at Bunker Pond as of Tuesday, January 5, 2010, while six more were observed at the Maple Avenue impoundments in Cumberland County on Sunday, January 3, 2010. A female COMMON MERGANSER has been present on the second plover pond at Cape May Point State Park, a good bird for south of the canal. 11 COMMON EIDERS including 2 adult males were at Stone Harbor Point Thursday, January 7 2010.

Louise Zemaitis reports on the Cape May Christmas Bird Count, held January 1, 2010

The total number of species recorded was 150 plus 2 recognizable forms and 5 more during the count week. Unusual species seen include:

2 Cackling Geese
7 Eurasian Wigeon - a record number for the count (all on Cape Island)
4 Blue -winged Teal
1 Harlequin Duck
1 Sora - not recorded on the count since 1979
2 Sandhill Cranes - one in Cape May and one at Villas WMA
1 Black-headed Gull
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird - survived in West Cape May until the bitter cold of Jan. 2

Record numbers of marsh dwelling sparrows were seen due to the high tide during the full moon. Birders who worked the marsh edges in the morning (though bleary-eyed from New Year's Eve) found:

14 Nelson's Sparrows 63 Saltmarsh Sparrows plus 7 sharp-tailed sparrow sp. 20 Seaside Sparrows

Other record high numbers include: Gadwall (353), Wild Turkey (24), Common Loon (157), Merlin (9), "Western" Willet (10), American Woodcock (80), Tufted Titmouse (302), American Robin (17,184), and White-crowned Sparrow (13).

Additional count week species seen were Wood Duck, Redhead, Lesser Black-backed Gull (1), Pine Warbler (1), and Marbled Godwit (4).

The cumulative total for the Cape May CBC stands at 264.

Due to a blizzard on the original count date of December 20, the count was rescheduled for January 1 (the latest date in count history). The count day was just above freezing with light WNW winds.

Half-hardy species and migrants were few. We did, however, have a nice day between cold fronts and see a fine sampling of post winter solstice species.

The 2009 count was the 89th for Cape May. The next Cape May CBC will be held on 19 December 2010.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: CMBO is offering a special to new and upgraded membership renewals. Join CMBO for the first time or upgrade from Individual or Family to The Hundred and receive Charley Harper's Migration Mainline- Cape May lithograph poster, valued at $50. Call either CMBO center to ask an associate about joining today!

******CMBO Bookstore WINTER HOURS are as follows: Northwood Center on East Lake Drive in Cape May Point is open Wednesday through Monday, 9:30am to 4:30pm; closed Tuesdays. The Center for Research and Education on Rt. 47 in Goshen is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30am to 4:30pm; closed Mondays. ******

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are made weekly. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736. Sponsorship for this hotline comes from the support of CMBO members and business members, and should you not be a member, we cordially invite you to join. Individual membership is $39 per year; $49 for families. You can call either center to become a member or visit. Become a member in person and you'll receive a FREE gift (in addition to member discounts in the stores).

Good Luck and Good Birding!

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