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
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
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