Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/2/1998
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 1 include reports of PURPLE GALLINULE (at Brig), FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER, MISSISSIPPI KITE, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, LARK SPARROW, EURASIAN WIGEON, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A brief note: Brigantine NWR will be closed every Wednesday in October to allow hunting of Snow Geese.

An immature PURPLE GALLINULE was present for most of the week in the lily covered pond just outside the entrance to Brigantine NWR. The bird has been on the left as you approach the entrance. It was last reported on September 30.

A FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER was seen briefly as it flew north over Higbee Beach on September 28. There were no repeat sightings.

A MISSISSIPPI KITE flew over the hawk watch and south over Delaware Bay on September 28.

A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was with a flock of other blackbirds near the parking lot of the Two Mile Inn Restaurant off of Ocean drive on September 30.

A LARK SPARROW was seen at the front edge of Hidden Valley Ranch on September 26, but was not seen after the initial sighting.

Two EURASIAN WIGEON continue to be seen on Bunker Pond in front of the hawk watch.

Passerine migration this week included the following highlights: LINCOLNS SPARROW was at Higbee Beach on September 26, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH and RUSTY BLACKBIRD were all on Cape May Point on the 29th, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was in West Cape May on the 28th, a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was in West Cape May on the 29th, while a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was on Cape May Point the same day. Five young PURPLE MARTINS lingered in Mauricetown, Cumberland county on the 30th.

Highlights from the Cape May Hawk Watch included an excellent movement on September 28, with 2,220 birds seen including over 1,000 AMERICAN KESTRELS. On the 29th, 97 PEREGRINE FALCONS and five BALD EAGLES were tallied. The hawk watch is manned this year by counters Pete Gustas and Vince Elia, with education interns Cameron Cox and Jim Tietz.

The Avalon Seawatch got under way on September 22. This years counters are Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Scott Barnes. The Seawatch interns are Jim Tietz and Gail Dwyer. Good flights of CANADA GEESE and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were seen this week, but the fireworks at the Seawatch are yet to come.

Local nature Notes follow: An excellent influx of Monarch Butterflies was seen this week. Monarchs show up in numbers at Cape May on the same conditions as do birds, strong northerly or northwesterly winds. The monarch tagging project has tagged hundreds of monarchs, several of which were seen at a butterfly garden 6 miles north of Cape May in Villas. Late season southern wanderers continue to be seen around Cape May Point. Clouded Sulphurs, Long-tailed Skippers, Clouded Skippers, Pipevine Swallowtails, Little Yellows, Ocola Skippers, and white-M Hairstreaks are all being seen around Cape May Point. The flight of Cloudless Sulphurs has abated somewhat. However with so many sulphurs already having moving through, many have laid eggs. Check patches of Partridge Pea to find there beautiful green and yellow caterpillar. A large dragonfly migration was seen on September 29. The same conditions that produce hawks, songbirds, and monarchs also can produce large numbers of migrant dragonflies. The three most common migrants being seen are Green Darner, Black Saddlebags, and Carolina Saddlebags.

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 http://www.njaudubon.org

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 GOOD BIRDING!

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