Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/2/1997
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 2nd include sightings of LARK SPARROW, EURASIAN WIGEON, local nature notes, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

A LARK SPARROW was seen briefly at Stone Harbor Point on September 27.

The EURASIAN WIGEON that has returned for another season to Cape May Point is being seen more regularly in Lily Lake than at Bunker Pond in the State Park.

Three COMMON EIDERS continue in the area, two around the jetties at Cape May Point and one in the canal south of the ferry terminal.

MARBLED GODWIT sightings of between one and four birds continue in the back bays and around Hereford Inlet.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was along New England Road on September 30.

Good flights of both CANADA GEESE and SNOW GEESE occurred on October 2. The flights of Canadas are especially heartening for this declining transient.

October 1 and 2 saw good flights of songbirds with typical early October species like PALM, YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACKPOLL, CAPE MAY, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, and MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, NORTHERN PARULA, SCARLET TANAGER, and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. Three PINE WARBLERS, a scarce migrant, were seen around Cape May Point on the 2nd. A HOODED WARBLER was at Hidden Valley Ranch on the 2nd. About 30 AMERICAN PIPITS passed over the Hawkwatch on the 2nd.

The BARN OWL that has been frequenting the South Cape May Meadows was last reported on September 28.

Jerry Liguori is CMBO's official Hawkwatcher, spelled by Pete Dunne on Tuesdays and Vince Elia on Wednesdays. Our Education Interns are Mike Green, Peter Gustas, and James Paolino. Good falcon flights occurred this past week with 241 KESTRELS, 248 MERLINS, and 137 PEREGRINES on September 29th, following a flight of 197 PEREGRINES on September 27. The season's first GOSHAWKS were seen September 25 & 26. BALD EAGLES continue daily. The first GOLDEN EAGLE of the fall was seen on October 2nd. Bill Seng is CMBO's official Seawatcher at 7th Street in Avalon and the Seawatch began September 22nd. Bill is spelled by Dave Ward and Fred Mears. And the Education Interns will be rotating between the hawkwatch and the seawatch, with James Paolino covering it the most.

Dick Walton is again overseeing CMBO's Monarch Monitoring Project and this year's Research Intern is Elizabeth Hunter. A massive monarch migration occurred on September 26. Census routes tallied in 655 monarchs in one hour and the dunes were full of Monarchs. Over 2,000 monarchs have been tagged to date. Color-marked tags are being used to tell how long individuals are staying and to determine their movements. Write down your sightings at CMBO, noting the tag color, the number if you can read it, and where and when you saw it.

Local Nature Notes follow: NJ Audubon's 51st Cape May Autumn Weekend was a huge success. Nature cooperated with many spectacular sightings, including the magnificent monarch flight on Friday, September 26th. Also enjoyed was a migrant RED BAT found roosting near the hawkwatch platform. Brown Pelicans appeared in good numbers, with 160 flying by the hawkwatch on September 25. The public butterfly gardens at Pavilion Circle in Cape May Point, the Water Conservation Garden in Cape May City, and the CMBO garden put in at the Cape May Point State Park all attracted good butterflies this weekend, including: several Long-tailed Skippers, several Ocola Skippers, numbers of Fiery Skippers, 100s Sachems, and a Clouded Skipper -- these are all southern vagrants that wander north in the fall. A Variegated Fritillary was at the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Gardens on Friday, Sept. 26. Also on September 26 the Hidden Valley fields off New England Road held White M Hairstreak, Zabulons, and Spicebush Swallowtails. Monarch caterpillars and chrysalises can still be found in good numbers. A major movement of dragonflies was observed the evening of September 29th, including 150 GREEN DARNERS, 15 WANDERING GLIDERS, 7 BLACK SADDLEBAGS, 3 CAROLINA SADDLEBAGS, AND 1 SWAMP DARNER. Great Horned Owls became vocal mid-September and can be heard at dawn and dusk most days. Their hooting is territorial.

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 Champagne Island Cruises for Fall Migrants" on Friday, October 3, and Saturday, October 4, at 3:00 p.m.; "Pishing 101" with Pete Dunne on October 9th; a "Feed the Birds" Workshop on October 11; a "Learn How to Share Nature With your Child" program on October 11; CMBO's next Member's Night on October 15 will host Clay and Pat Sutton, presenting a slide program and book signing on "How to Spot Hawks & Eagles;" 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!

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