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
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
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
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!