Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/9/1997
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights the week ending January 9 include news of the NORTHERN LAPWING, BELL'S VIREO, SANDHILL CRANE, KING EIDER, GLAUCOUS GULL, LITTLE GULL, SNOWY OWL, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.

The NORTHERN LAPWING has not been reported since the early morning of Saturday, January 4.

The BELL'S VIREO was seen this week on January 5 at Hidden Valley Ranch. It is not seen often, but sometimes with a small flock of Palm Warblers and is often seen in the center, not the edges of the first field.

A SANDHILL CRANE was seen this week on January 3 in the marshes behind Cape May city and on the 6th over the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM).

The KING EIDER continues to be seen at the jetty at the north end of Reed's Beach. It was seen on January 4 and 6th.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was on Nummy Island on January 4.

An adult LITTLE GULL was seen this week at Norbury's Landing on two dates, January 4 and 6. Presumably the same bird was seen off Higbee Beach on the 5th.

At least one SNOWY OWL was seen at Brigantine NWR this week, on January 6. The bird had been perching within the impoundment in the southeast corner of the East Pool.

An OSPREY was reported from Lake Nummy in Belleplain State Park on January 6.

The two CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and an "OREGON" JUNCO on 2nd Ave in West Cape May continue, seen this week on the 5th.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER continues to be seen near the parking lot at SCMM, seen this week on the 5th and 6th. REDHEAD and EURASIAN WIGEON continue on Lily Lake.

Other highlights included AMERICAN BITTERN at SCMM on the 3rd, RED CROSSBILL in Rio Grande on the 3rd, DICKCISSEL at Hidden Valley Ranch on the 4th, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER on Cape May Point on the 5th, COMMON MOORHEN on Lighthouse Pond on the 6th, and FORSTER'S TERN at 2nd Ave Jetty in Cape May on the 9th.

Highlights from the Cumberland County Christmas Count held January 5th included ROSS' GOOSE near Fortescue, Sedge Wren at both Fortescue and Turkey Point, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW near Beaver Dam, and three ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS on Turkey Point.

Local Nature Notes follow: Short-eared Owls were absent on both the Cape May and the Belleplain Christmas Bird Counts, counts which normally have good numbers. We're wondering if Short-ears are common anywhere this winter. Anyone care to enlighten us? Numbers of Oldsquaws can be enjoyed in the surf now along the Oceanfront. Bonaparte Gulls are quite easy to study now too as they feed around the jetties in Cape May Point. They're very dainty and so seem more tern-like than gull-like. Fox Sparrows are in. Adult Bald Eagles are paired up and on territory; they might be found near their nests.

This year's Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey is scheduled for January 11 and 12. Please share your bald eagle sightings with us here at CMBO so that we can be sure to have observers at all known eagle hotspots for the survey! American Holly trees are heavy with berries. Sumac fruit clusters stand out now as most of the leaves have fallen. With the leaves fallen it's time to search for large stick nests that Great Horned Owls might use for their nests in less than a month, they being our earliest nesting bird - on eggs soon.

Some of CMBO's upcoming programs follow: The Cape May Bird Observatory's winter program schedule includes weekly "Owl & Hawk Watches at Jakes Landing" every Friday, now through March 14th at 4:00 p.m. Weekly "Winter Bird Walks" meet every Sunday, now through March at 8:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. A special Members' Night will be held January 15th at the NEW CMBO in Goshen, with "a Birthday Party for New Jersey Audubon Society in its 100th Year!" scheduled for 7:30-9 p.m. Six "Owl Workshops" are scheduled: January 18, 25, February 1, 5, and 15. The "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" will be taught January 25-26, February 22-23, and March 29-30. A "Winter Raptors of Bear Swamp and the Delaware Bayshore" is scheduled for February 8, AND MUCH MORE!

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 send a request for information 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 every day except Tues. & Wednesday, 9-5.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties and near shore waters. Updates are made on Thursday evenings, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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