Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/16/2003

* New Jersey * Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic Counties * NJCM0310.16 * October 16, 2003

- Birds Mentioned + Franklin's Gull + Long-billed Curlew + (Details requested by NJBRC)

Broad-winged Hawk
Clay-colored Sparrow
Connecticut Warbler
Cooper's Hawk
Double-crested Cormorant
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lincoln's Sparrow
Marbled Godwit
Orange-crowned Warbler
Palm Warbler
Parasitic Jaeger
Sedge Wren
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Vesper Sparrow
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Yellow-rumped Warbler

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 16, 2003. Highlights from the last week include LONG-BILLED CURLEW, MARBLED GODWIT, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, DICKCISSEL, SEDGE WREN, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, PARASITIC JAEGER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, news of the migration, and several announcements regarding access to birding locations.

A LONG-BILLED CURLEW was found at the end of Stone Harbor Point on Oct. 11th and seen again on the 12th. Both sightings were at high tide. MARBLED GODWITS are also being seen here: 3 were seen on Oct. 14th, and 8 (with the Curlew) on the 11th. 10 MARBLED GODWITS were seen from Nummy Island on the 11th.

CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were seen from the Higbee Morning Flight Project on Oct. 13th and from Higbee on the 11th. LINCOLN'S SPARROW reports this week include 3 at Hidden Valley on the Oct. 13th, 1 at the Higbee Morning Flight Platform on the 13th and 1 on the 14th. 2 flyover DICKCISSELS were reported from Higbee on Oct. 14th, a cooperative female DICKCISSEL was seen at the edge of the Hidden Valley parking lot on the 13th, and one more was reported from Higbee on the 11th. A cooperative SEDGE WREN was enjoyed at the Two Mile Beach Unit of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge on Oct. 12th, and a VESPER SPARROW was found here on Oct. 13th. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was found at Higbee on the 11th and on the 12th. A CONNECTICUT WARBLER was found in Villas on Oct. 11th.

PARASITIC JAEGERS are being seen frequently along the Cape May coastline, with reports of 3 from Cape May Point on Oct. 14th and 1 on the 12th, 6 from the Avalon Seawatch on the 14th and 26 over two days here on the 10th and 11th, and 7 from the Hawkwatch on the 14th.

Some astounding numbers were recorded at CMBO projects last week. On Monday, October 13, the Morning Flight Project at the Higbee Dike tallied 67,236 warblers 58,959 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and 1,473 PALM WARBLERS being most abundant. On the same day, Oct. 13, the Cape May Point Hawkwatch recorded 4,500 raptors, including 2,662 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 570 COOPER'S HAWKS, and 619 BROAD-WINGED HAWKS. On Saturday, October 11, the Avalon Seawatch total count was 21,085, including 9,543 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, 9,286 SCOTERS, 14 PARASITIC JAEGERS, 4 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, and 2 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS.

A FRANKLIN'S GULL was reported from Higbee Oct. 10th, but we have no details.

Please note that: The phragmites control project at Cape May Point State Park and The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows") is on hold and there will be no closures in these areas this fall. The "free bridge" connecting Nummy's Island to south Stone Harbor is now closed until further notice for construction. The Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is closed on Thursdays for the month of October.

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 the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, 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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