You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of
the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.
Highlights for the week ending Oct. 26, 1995 include
LONG-TAILED JAEGER, ARCTIC TERN, SEDGE WREN, migration
news, announcements and nature notes.
A brief note on the SMITH'S LONGSPUR reported last week:
the bird has apparently left the area; it has *NOT* been
On Oct. 20, a LONG-TAILED JAEGER was seen flying south by
the Seawatch at Avalon. Later on the same day at the watch,
an ARCTIC TERN was also seen. More on the Seawatch later.
A SEDGE WREN was at Higbee Beach, in the first field behind
the parking lot, on Oct. 22; it has not been reported
A major land bird migration swept through the Cape the
evening of Oct. 25; by the next morning, thousands of
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, SWAMP
SPARROWS, hundreds of KINGLETS of both species, HERMIT
THRUSHES, BROWN CREEPERS, HOUSE FINCHES, and NUTHATCHES
filled the area.
Other highlights this week included a few tardy warblers:
BLACKPOLL WARBLER on Oct. 20 at CMBO; NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH
& NASHVILLE WARBLER at Higbee Beach on Oct. 22; and
BAYBREASTED WARBLER & BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER at Hidden
Valley Ranch on Oct. 20.
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was at Higbee Beach on Oct. 22. A late
SCARLET TANAGER was there on Oct. 25, while LINCOLN'S
SPARROW was there the same day. PINE SISKINS made an
appearance on Oct. 26 over Cape May Point. Thousands of
TREE SWALLOWS passed the Hawkwatch Oct. 23, with 2600
counted in one half-hour period.
The night of Oct. 25, the night was clear and the winds
were gentle from the Northwest, perfect for Owl migration.
Katy Duffy arrived just in the nick of time from Wyoming,
and began her banding operation; at dawn on Oct. 26 she had
banded 80 SAW-WHET OWLS & one LONG-EARED OWL. The night of
Oct. 25 1995 will long be remembered, since in some years
80 owls is a good total for the entire season.
We are in the second month of the CMBO Hawkwatch, staffed
this year by Andre Robinson; Jerry Ligouri and Paul Koenig
are our education interns. The previous fall record for
PEREGRINES was set in 1990, with 818 birds; on Oct. 19 this
fall, the PEREGRINE total reached an astounding 1000 birds,
with a few still coming through. As of Oct. 25, the
PEREGRINE total was 1056.
Hawk flights on Oct. 25-26 were excellent; Oct. 25, 6 imm.
BALD EAGLES, 2 GOLDEN EAGLES, almost 1500 SHARP-SHINNED
HAWKS, over 200 COOPER'S HAWKS, over 100 RED-TAILED HAWKS,
75 MERLINS & 6 PEREGRINES were counted. Today, Oct. 26, the
flight is also good, with lots of Buteos, and 2 imm. Bald
Eagles just during lunch hour. So far, over 44,700 raptors
have been counted this fall.
The CMBO Seawatch at the north end of Avalon is staffed by
Dave Ward, Clay Sutton, Mike O'Brien, Fred Mears.
Mind-boggling flights of SCOTER and CORMORANTS passed this
week. It all began Oct. 19, when 22,000 SCOTER passed; the
biggest flight ever for the Seawatch was on Oct. 20, with
67,000 birds counted; almost 61,000 of those were Scoters,
mostly BLACK SCOTER and SURF SCOTER, with only 110
The following day, Oct. 21, close to 30,000 Scoter were
counted, and 12,000 Oct. 22, only 3300 Oct. 23. CORMORANTS
totalled 3000 Oct. 21; 12,000 Oct. 22; 17,000 Oct. 23.
Other sightings at the watch this week included: CORY'S
SHEARWATER Oct. 19; RED-NECKED GREBE Oct. 19 and Oct. 23;
200 to 600 NORTHERN GANNETS daily; max 6 GREAT CORMORANTS
daily; PARASITIC JAEGERS daily, including 7 on both Oct. 20
and 21; and a KING EIDER Oct. 20.
Local nature notes follow.
Butterfly numbers are dropping with the temperatures. The
last LONG-TAILED SKIPPER and FIERY SKIPPER were reported
Oct. 18 in Cape May Point. Butterfiles seen Oct. 23-25 on
the Point include OCOLA SKIPPER, CLOUDED SKIPPER, SACHEM,
VARIEGATED FRITILLARY, SNOUT, MOURNING CLOAK, AMERICAN
LADY, PAINTED LADY & MONARCH. The cold front Oct. 25
triggered a steady flight of MONARCHS.
Porcelain-berry fruits catch the eye; Seaside Goldenrod and
asters are in bloom and attracting butterflies; Shrub
Groundsel Tree is in full bloom with fluffy white flowers;
rose hips (seed pods) are ripe and being eaten by birds;
Sumac leaves are bright red and purple.
[program information deleted--LL]
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
birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May
birding, our programs and field trips, and the Observatory,
call our office at 609-884-2736 or a send a request for
info to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you
are in the area, do not hesitate to visit our headquarters
and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May
Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.
The Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] 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. [Compiled by CMBO staff; transcribed by L.
Larson (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.