You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Oct. 21, 1993 include: EURASIAN WIGEON, HARLEQUIN DUCK, GOLDEN EAGLE, MARBLED GODWIT, PURPLE SANDPIPER, PARASITIC JAEGER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, RAZORBILL, EVENING GROSBEAK, and RAPTOR notes.
The drake EURASIAN WIGEON continues in the Cape May Point State Park, but it is now more regularly found on Lighthouse Pond instead of on Bunker Pond. The bird is now virtually finished with its molt and looks quite nice. Various unconfirmed reports from Brigantine this week included GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE on Oct. 18, ROSS'S GOOSE on Oct. 19, and MARBLED GODWIT on Oct. 17. The refuge's returning adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was regularly seen at the northeast corner of the auto route. There on the 20th were 5-6000 SNOW GEESE, 2500 DUNLIN and a late STILT SANDPIPER.
The flock of 31 STILT SANDPIPERS was seen flying around by the Avalon sea watch on Oct. 17. Other sea watch news includes thousands of SCOTERS and the season's first RAZORBILL on Oct. 21; 36 RED-THROATED LOONS, almost 10000 CORMORANTS, 8000 SCOTERS and a HARLEQUIN DUCK on Oct. 19; and PARASITIC JAEGERS almost daily. Bonaparte's Gulls are still virtually nonexistent for some reason; the season's second flew by the sea watch on Oct. 17. The second HORNED GREBE of the season was seen on Oct. 15, as was the second OLDSQUAW of the season.
The second-best Raptor flight of the fall was observed on Oct. 18, when 1518 raptors were counted. Highlights were 6 BLACK VULTURES, 955 SHARP-SHINS, 395 AM. KESTRELS, & 56 MERLINS. The next day in a much smaller flight an imm. GOLDEN EAGLE, the second of the fall, was seen. On Oct. 15, 26 PEREGRINES were counted. Small numbers of N. GOSHAWKS are still being seen around Cape May Point and west Cape May. An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was regular at Higbee Beach. Two late STILT SANDPIPERS flew over the hawk watch on Oct. 21. Two MARBLED GODWITS were found in Hereford Inlet on Oct. 21 on a sand bar with over 100 AM. OYSTERCATCHERS.
FINCHES continue to be seen in relatively good numbers. PURPLE FINCHES and PINE SISKINS were in double-digit numbers a few days this week. What is apparently the best EVENING GROSBEAK flight in at least four years is shaping up. Twenty grosbeaks were seen over West Cape May on Oct. 19. They have been seen most consistently at Higbee and the Beanery. Good numbers of sparrows are being seen at Higbee Beach and at Hidden Valley. Field, Swamp, Song and White-throat are the most numerous but check carefully for other species such as Clay-colored and Grasshopper.
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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 birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, phone our office or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. The Cape May birding hotline is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.