Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/22/1998
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 22 include reports of SWAINSON'S HAWK, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, MARBLED GODWIT, 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.

Two different SWAINSON'S HAWKS were seen on consecutive days at the Cape May Hawk Watch on October 21 and 22.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were seen the Cape May Point State Park on the 20th, at Higbee on the 21st, and at Hidden Valley ranch on the 22nd.

Two MARBLED GODWITS continue to be seen around Hereford inlet.

EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen in the State Park, but more often in Lighthouse Pond west, than in Bunker Pond. By weeks end only one was being seen as opposed to two earlier in the week.

Passerine migration this week included the following highlights: an estimated of 25,000 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS passed through Cape May on October 16 with large flights the following two days also; CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was at Stone Harbor Point on the 16th; over 50 AMERICAN PIPITS passed through Cape May on the 17th; PINE SISKIN was at the Hawk Watch on the 18th; WESTERN KINGBIRD and GRASSHOPPER SPARROW were at Higbee Beach on the 20th, RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were at the Beanery on the 20th and at Higbee Beach on the 21st. The diversity of warbler migrants has been drastically reduced. NASHVILLE was at Higbee Beach on the 16th, BLACK-THROATED GREEN on the 18th, and BLACK-THROATED BLUE on the 20th, and TENNESSEE at West Cape May on the 21st.

Lingering shorebirds included two WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, five SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, and five PECTORAL SANDPIPERS in West Cape May, and a STILT SANDPIPER at the State Park on the 20th. Twenty-five WESTERN WILLETS were at Hereford Inlet on the 18th.

Highlights from the Cape May Hawk Watch included a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK on the 15th, seven BALD EAGLES on the 17th, over 1,000 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS on the 20th, and 86 MERLINS on the 20th. The hawk watch is manned this year by counters Pete Gustas and Vince Elia, with education interns Cameron Cox and Jim Tietz. Jake's Landing Rd. had four BALD EAGLES and one GOLDEN EAGLE on the 21st.

About 75,000 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS have passed the Avalon Sea Watch since September 22, along with 3,500 N. GANNETS, 650 COMMON LOONS, and 30 PARASITIC JAEGERS. Other highlights include KING EIDER on October 5, COMMON EIDER on the 11th, and three BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES on the 16th. This years counters are Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Scott Barnes. The Seawatch interns are Jim Tietz and Gail Dwyer. Good flights are just beginning at the Sea Watch, but with most of the fireworks yet to come.

Local nature Notes follow: The monarch tagging project has tagged an astounding seven thousand monarchs this season. Other butterfly highlights include a Sleepy Orange on Cape May Point on October 18; three Long-tailed Skippers, three Ocola Skippers, and a Clouded Skipper on Cape May Point on the 20th; and Variegated Fritillary, Comma, Painted Lady, and Fiery Skipper on the 21st. It will be interesting to see how the butterflies respond to the first blast of cold weather scheduled for the next couple of days.

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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