Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/21/2005
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Societys Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared by Pete Dunne on Friday, October 21.

The past week has been marked by extraordinary flights of songbirds and raptors. At the Zeiss sponsored Morning Flight Project one day high counts included 955 Northern Flicker, 84 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 75,000 Yellow-rumped Warbler. Red-breasted Nuthatches, Purple Finches, Pine Siskin and Rusty Blackbirds are in Cape May airspace. Less common passerines include Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Sedge Wren, Orange-crowned Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Lark Sparrow. On October 18, a Sandhill Crane was seen from the Dike.

Sparrows reign at the Beanery, Hidden Valley, and Higbee Beach. The Beanery was awash in sparrows, kinglets and Eastern Phoebe during the week (remember, you need to be a CMBO or NJ Audubon member to be on the property and need to show a current, 2005 Beanery Sticker). In addition to lots of Swamp, Chipping Song, and White-throated, White-crowned, Lincolns, Vesper, Clay-colored and Grasshopper Sparrows were tallied (as well as Lark Sparrows at Higbee, Stone Harbor, and North Cape May.

The Leica sponsored Hawk Watch at Cape May Point State Park had a good week with over a thousand birds seen every day between October 15 and 19. Notable were counts of 14 Bald Eagles and 45 Northern Harrier on the 17th, 552 Coopers Hawks on the 19th, 114 Broad-winged Hawks on the 17th, 1 Rough-legged Hawk on the 18th, 1,418 American Kestrel, 342 Merlin and 41 Peregrines on the 15th.

The weather this weekend looks inauspicious for fresh land birds (although they should still be many around). You might want to consider (in fact you are encouraged to consider) going to the Avalon Seawatch where numbers of Seaducks should be peaking this week. A Greater White-fronted Goose was recorded there Oct. 15.

Remember, too, that the New Jersey Audubons Cape May Autumn Weekend/THE Bird Show comes to town Friday, October 28-Sunday October 30. Not a bad time to be in Cape May; not a shabby way to see whats going on in birding at the Cape May Convention Center. Doors open 12 noon on Friday, 9 am Saturday and Sunday. You can register at the door.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubons Cape May Bird Observatory. For more current information and details relating to these sightings and others stop by the Northwood Center in Cape May Point or the Center for Research and Education in Goshen and check the bird sighting sheets. You can also pick up a birding map, checklists, and information relating to our programs and events (daily walks and workshops), as well as registration information for the annual Cape May Autumn Weekend / THE Bird Show (slated for October 28-30). For additional information call 609-884-2736 or 609-861-0700. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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