Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/10/2002
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, October 10, 2002. Highlights from the last week include LONG-BILLED CURLEW, SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER, SWAINSON'S HAWK, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, COMMON EIDER, PARASITIC JAEGER, POMARINE JAEGER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, and news of the migration.

A LONG-BILLED CURLEW was seen from the south end of Nummy Island on Oct. 8th, at various times on both the east and west sides of the island. Up to four MARBLED GODWITS are being seen from the north end of Nummy.

A SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER was also seen on Oct. 8th, this bird found in the pools behind the Wetlands Institute, along Stone Harbor Blvd.

An immature SWAINSON'S HAWK, described as "intermediate morph," was seen around Cape May from Sept. 28th through Oct. 6th. The bird was seen in many areas around West Cape May and Cape May Point.

A juvenile BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE has been frequenting areas around Cape May Point from Oct. 4th through at least the 9th, with sightings from the jetties in Cape May Point, from the Cape May hawkwatch, and from The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows"), where the bird was seen lounging with other gulls on Oct. 8th.

CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS have been seen at Hidden Valley on Oct. 8th and 10th, at the north end of Pavilion Circle in Cape May Point on Oct.7th and 8th, and along Coral Ave., Cape May Point, on Oct. 6th.

Three COMMON EIDERS were seen off Cape May Point on Oct. 6th.

PARASITIC JAEGERS are being seen daily from the Avalon Seawatch and from the Hawkwatch in Cape May Point, and a POMARINE JAEGER was seen from the Hawkwatch on Oct. 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was at the Second Ave. Jetty in Cape May on Oct. 7th. Two HUDSONIAN GODWITS were at the Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on Oct. 7th, where one HUDSONIAN GODWIT and three MARBLED GODWITS were seen on Oct. 4th.

Songbird migration has seen a decline in the early season species and the first major push of late season migrants. Noteworthy finds of the last week include ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Hidden Valley on Oct. 8th, and several reports of DICKCISSEL, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, VESPER SPARROW, PURPLE FINCH, and many others.

Migrating raptor numbers have been excellent in Cape May again this week, with a new record high one-day count for PEREGRINE FALCON established on Oct. 5th, when 298 were tallied. An early GOLDEN EAGLE was seen on Oct. 8th.

A few spots are still open for the gala New Jersey Audubon Cape May Autumn Weekend & THE Bird Show, Oct. 25 27. Contact CMBO at (609) 861-0700 for more information about this and other upcoming programs for the busy and exciting fall migration season.

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 our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.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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