Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/16/1997
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 16 include sightings of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, WESTERN KINGBIRD, MARBLED GODWIT, EURASIAN WIGEON, local nature notes, an invitation to join us for The Bird Show, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

On Friday, October 31 and Saturday, Sunday, November 1 and 2, CMBO will be hosting THE BIRD SHOW in Cape May. This 3-day Festival features speakers like Kenn Kaufman, Paul Lehman, and John Kricher; a convention center filled with booths manned by companies like Swarovski, Leica, Nikon, Wings, and Field Guides; banding demonstrations, indoor workshops and programs, field trips, and of course BIRDS at what many of us who live here consider to be the most exciting time to bird Cape May. The cost is cheap -- $50/person for all three days (if you register before October 20; or $20 per person per day. Non-members add $5 to these rates. To register, call Kathy Iozzo and ask for a registration form or register over the phone. The number is 609-861-0700, x-10.

A VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW was present for a good part of the day on October 16 at Bunker Pond at the Hawkwatch in the Cape May Point State Park.

A WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was a fly-by at the Avalon Seawatch on October 11.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was at the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on October 16.

A MARBLED GODWIT was present in the SCMM on October 12 and 13, but not since.

The EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen, sometimes in Lily Lake and sometimes in Bunker Pond in the Cape May Point State Park.

A good seabird flight occurred off Cape May Point on October 15 including over 500 NORTHERN GANNETS, 290 ROYAL TERNS, and over 3,500 SCOTER (mostly BLACK SCOTERS). PARASITIC JAEGERS are being seen off the Point regularly, while one on October 13 was possibly a LONG-TAILED JAEGER.

A ROSS' GOOSE was reported flying over Goshen on October 12. While there are no definitive records for Cape May county, fly-overs undoubtedly occur.

There is a lull on the songbird front, with warbler diversity dropping and the bulk of the sparrow and finch movements yet to occur. An EVENING GROSBEAK and two PINE SISKINS flew over Cape May Point on October 12th, while a female RED CROSSBILL was reported from Higbee Beach on October 15. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was in the same location on the 16th, while two CAPE MAY WARBLERS were at Lily Lake on the 16th. Two BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS were seen at Hidden Valley Ranch on October 16.

The Hawkwatch to date (including October 8th) has tallied over 51,000 raptors. October 11 totaled 3,679 birds including 5 BALD and 2 GOLDEN EAGLES and over 100 PEREGRINE FALCONS. Please welcome this year's hawkwatch team: Jerry Liguori, Pete Dunne on Tuesdays, Vince Elia on Wednesdays, and our Education Interns, Mike Green, Peter Gustas, and James Paolino.

CMBO's fulltime Seawatch at the north end of Avalon, 7th Street and the beach, is manned this season by Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Dave Ward, along with our Education Intern, James Paolino. Peak movements of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS are occurring now, with 1,000s daily, and over 20,000 on October 11. Scoters totaled 25,000 on October 12 (mostly BLACK SCOTER). Thirty-two Parasitic Jaegers were seen this past week with 9 on October 10 and 8 on October 14.

Hundreds of N. GANNETS are passing daily, with a flight of 300 on October 125.

CMBO's Monarch Monitoring Project tagged nearly 4,000 monarchs this season. Dick Walton is again overseeing the project and this year's Research Intern is Elizabeth Hunter. Elizabeth is using colored tags, a different color each day. Write your sightings down at the CMBO, noting the tag color, the number if you can read it, and where and when you saw it -- or tell Elizabeth.

Local Nature Notes follow: Its a great fall for southern butterflies that have wandered north.

Ocola Skippers are being seen daily. A Brazilian Skipper, only the second ever seen in the county was reported on October 12. Over 20 Fiery Skippers were in the Pavilion Circle Gardens in Cape May Point on October 12. Long-tailed Skippers are also being seen. Two were at Pavilion Circle Gardens on October 12. Sachems continue to be the most common skippers. Blue-faced Meadowhawks, a small red & black dragonfly, are being seen around the point.

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North, either 1 mile south of the traffic light at Rt. 657 or 1.7 miles north of the Gulf Station in Goshen. From either direction we are just around a bend. Look for the split rail fence, brand new sign, large parking lot, and big new building beyond. This center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature store, and an wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor, featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer, and carvers. The Center is open daily 10-5, and "The Loft" art gallery is open weekends (Fri, Sat, and Sun). CMBO's Northwood Center now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. It is also open daily, 10-5.

The Cape May Bird Observatory's Program Schedule offers daily bird, butterfly, or wildflower walks, hawk & seabird id mini-workshops. Also offered weekly, but requiring preregistration, are Birding By Boat trips each Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. Stop by either center to pick up the fall issue of the Kestrel Express, to learn of all our programs or call us at 609-861-0700.

Special upcoming preregistration programs include: a 2-Day Seabird ID Course (including one indoor workshop & 2 field trips) taught by Dave Ward on October 18 & 19; a "Champagne Island Cruise for Fall Migrants" on October 18 at 3:00 p.m.; "a Bird Watching For Beginners 2-Day Course" October 25-26; "THE BIRD SHOW" October 31 through November 2, 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 new Center for Research & Education at 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores. The Northwood Center in Cape May Point at 701 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point and the Center for Research & Education in Goshen, both 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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