Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/14/1999
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending October 14 include reports of SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, SWAINSONS HAWK, EURASIAN WIGEON, local nature notes, news of an upcoming pelagic trip, and news of CMBO.

Note: Forsythe NWR (or Brigantine) continues to be closed on Thursdays through October for goose management.

A flycatcher with a long tail that flew by the Hawk Watch on the morning of October 11 was located in the evening and turned out to be a SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER. It was not relocated.

A light-morph SWAINSONS HAWK was at Higbee Beach on October 8, but there were no subsequent reports.

The EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen in Lighthouse Pond at the Cape May Point State Park, seen this week on October 9.

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was at the Cape May Point State Park on October 12, and another was present at Hidden Valley Ranch on October 14. CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen at Higbee Beach on October 12.

Other passerine highlights included: RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and two PINE WARBLERS at Higbee Beach on October 11, two CAPE MAY WARBLERS, four BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, four PURPLE FINCHES, and two PINE SISKINS at Higbee Beach on October 12, VESPER SPARROW along Bayshore Road and at Hidden Valley Ranch on the 12th, and BLUE GROSBEAK at Hidden Valley Ranch on the 12th and 14th.

Single AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS were at Brig on October 10, the Concrete Ship on October 11, and on the jetty at Avalon on the 11th. Two GREAT CORMORANTS were at the Concrete Ship on October 13.

The Cape May Hawk Watch had a very good flight on October 11, totaling nearly 3,000 birds. Highlights included 1,809 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 11 BALD EAGLES, 48 PEREGRINE FALCONS, and one of the earliest ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS ever recorded at Cape May. The flight on the 12th had an additional eight BALD EAGLES.

CMBOs Avalon Seawatch officially began on September 22nd. The Avalon Seawatch is at 7th street and the beach at the north end of Avalon. This years counter is Chris Wood from Lakewood, Colorado. Fred Mears will do the count on Chris days off and on hand during the peak period will be Glen Davis, Jim Armstrong, and Gail Dwyer. A COMMON EIDER was on the water at the Sea Watch on October 14. A number of NORTHERN GANNETS were on the move this week, as were fair numbers of Scoters. Three early OLDSQUAW were seen on October 10. We are on the brink of the main part of the sea bird flight, with the next month registering a large portion of the total flight.

Local Nature Notes: This seasons monarch flight has been one of, if not the best, ever. Between September 22 and October 13, Chris Wood, the Sea Bird counter, has tallied about 80,000 MONARCHS moving south along the coast, and thats just on the barrier island side. About 4,300 Monarchs have been tagged. A recent recovery was of a Monarch tagged in Cape May and recovered about 12 hours later at Cape Charles, VA nearly 130 miles south. Some other butterfly highlights included 30 MOURNING CLOAKS that moved passed the Avalon Sea Watch on October 11. A Little Yellow and a Common Checkered Skipper were at the Cape May Point State Park on October 9, Little Yellow was on Cape May Point on the 12th, and two were in Mauricetown on the 12th. On October 13, 10 Cloudless Sulphurs were headed south at the Avalon Sea Watch. The CMBO Butterfly Walk on October 13 had 25 AMERICAN LADIES, five PAINTED LADIES, and 10 FIERY SKIPPERS. A good dragonfly flight on October 11 had over 100 GREEN DARNERS a minute moving through Cape May Point.

Focus on Nature Tours is organizing a pelagic trip out of Cape May on November 20 aboard the Morning Star. The trip runs from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $95. For more info call 1-800-362-0869, or email font@focusonnature.com.

On Saturday, October 23 there will be a celebration to recognize the transfer of the former Coast Guard property in Lower Township to the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. The site will be known as the "Two Mile Beach Unit". All are welcome. The ceremony is at 10:00 a.m. In addition, the Cape May Bird Observatory will offer 1-hour bird and butterfly walks at the site at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and one following the ceremony at around 11:00 a.m. The site of the celebration and walks is at the south end of Wildwood Crest, with access off Ocean Drive just as you enter Wildwood Crest.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks, requiring no preregistration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

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 hotline. For more information call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Don't hesitate to visit our two centers of activity. CMBO's Center for Research & Education is located at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen. CMBO's Northwood Center is located at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Both centers feature gardens, feeding stations, nature & book stores, and birding information. The Center in Goshen also has a wildlife art gallery, featuring artists, photographer, and carvers. Each Center is OPEN DAILY 10-5.

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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