Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/17/2002
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 17, 2002. Highlights from the last week include LONG-BILLED CURLEW, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, RUFF, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, AMERICAN AVOCET, MARBLED GODWIT, PARASITIC JAEGER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and news of the migration.

A LONG-BILLED CURLEW was seen on Oct. 16th at the south end of Brigantine Island, near Atlantic City, in the company of 8 9 MARBLED GODWITS. The Curlew was not relocated on Oct. 17th in spite of diligent searching, but the Godwits were still present. Four MARBLED GODWITS continue to frequent the Nummy's Island/Stone Harbor Point area, the most recent sighting was Oct. 17th. An AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was in this area on Oct. 12th.

A juvenile BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE has been frequenting areas around Cape May Point since Oct. 4th , the most recent sightings from The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows") and from the Cape May City Beach near Broadway (east of the Second Avenue Jetty), both from Oct. 17th.

A REEVE (female RUFF) was reported from the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on Oct. 13th and again on the 15th. A HUDSONIAN GODWIT and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER were also seen here, most recently reported from Oct. 15th.

Three AMERICAN AVOCETS were reported from Bivalve on Oct. 17th.

Two WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS and eighteen STILT SANDPIPERS were seen at Two Mile Landing on Oct. 16th.

PARASITIC JAEGERS are still being seen almost every day from the Avalon Seawatch and from the Hawkwatch in Cape May Point.

Two adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at the ferry landing in North Cape May on Oct. 16th.

The songbird migration has been very busy this week, with an enormous influx of birds arriving in Cape May on Oct. 14th, when counters at Higbee tallied an astounding 40,000 migrating songbirds (34,000 were YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS). Songbird highlights for the last week include: a very late ORCHARD ORIOLE in West Cape May on Oct. 16th; a LAPLAND LONGSPUR at Stone Harbor Point on Oct. 15th; and several reports of the following species from the frequently birded areas south of the Cape May Canal: CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, WINTER WREN, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, flyover DICKCISSEL, and many others. NASHVILLE WARBLER, CAPE MAY WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, PALM WARBLER, and BLACKPOLL WARBLER have been especially common around Cape May this week, in addition to the thousands of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.

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 Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is currently closed on Wednesdays. There is a pelagic trip scheduled out of Cape May on Friday, December 6. Cost is $90. Details are available at http://www.paulagics.com or by calling 215-234-6805.

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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