Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/27/1994
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Oct. 27, 1994 include sightings of: RUFOUS/ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD, GOLDEN EAGLE, WESTERN KINGBIRD, COMMON EIDER, MARBLED GODWIT, EURASIAN WIGEON,migration news, nature notes, and announcements.

An immature male hummingbird, identified as either RUFOUS or ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD, returned to the feeder in Woodbine on Oct. 21. We've had no reports of the bird since.

The season's first GOLDEN EAGLE was seen today, Oct. 27, at the Cape May Point Hawk Watch. The bird was part of a fine flight that was typical of later season, with lots of RED-TAILED HAWKS, good numbers of RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, and kettles of VULTURES.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen on two occasions at the Hawk Watch, and once at Keith {?} amd Lincoln Avenues on Cape May Point. It was last seen Oct. 25 at the Hawk Watch and could still be in the area. Two COMMON EIDERS are being seen around the jetties at the Point south of the Concrete Ship. They are frequently in company of four SURF SCOTERS. Up to five MARBLED GODWITS are still being seen near Hereford Inlet from the Jersey Cape Nature Excursions tour boat. And the EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen daily in Bunker Pond in front of the Hawk Watch.

Several lingering songbirds were present this week; the list of warblers at Higbee included BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. BOBOLINKS were heard flying over this week at the Hawk Watch and at Higbee. NORTHERN ORIOLES were seen at CMBO on Oct. 25 and at Higbee Oct. 26. A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was at Higbee Oct. 21, and a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was there Oct. 24. More typical of the season, one or two CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were at Higbee this week, with one today Oct. 27. A number of DICKCISSELS were heard as they flew over the Hawk Watch. ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were seen at Hidden Valley Oct. 22 and at Higbee Oct. 24, as well as at the South Cape May Meadows parking lot Oct. 25.

Katy Duffy and Patrick Matheney arrived this week from Wyoming to begin the annual fall Owl banding project. Their all-night Owl counts produced one BARN OWL the night of Oct. 23, and 6 SAW-WHET OWLS and one LONG-EARED OWL Oct. 25. Owls migrate on still nights with gentle north or northwest winds following passage of major cold fronts.

CMBO's full time sea watch is being conducted from Seventh Ave. at the north end of Avalon. Monday Oct. 24 about 1200 NORTHERN GANNET were counted, and PARASITIC JAEGERS have been putting on a show there, chasing terns and stealing fish from them. BLACK SCOTERS have been seen in good numbers, though the main push is still to occur (and is expected within the next few days.)

Announcements: A "mini-pelagic" trip has been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, 8 AM to Noon. The Cape May Whale Watcher boat in Cape May will be used; cost is $25. The boat will explore nearshore waters including Five-fathom Bank, MacRae's Shoal, and the mouth of the Delaware Bay. For more info or reservations, call Jersey Cape Nature Excursions, (609) 898 9631.

Local nature notes: A late gathering of thousands of MONARCH BUTTERFLIES was discovered at Stone Harbor Point Oct. 21. The next day a steady movement of them flew down Cape May's beach front. A few Butterfly Bush blossoms linger in the Cape May Point Circle and are attracting late goodiies like an OCOLA SKIPPER, LONG-TAILED SKIPPER, and numbers of FIERY SKIPPERS on Oct. 22; a VARIEGATED FRITILLARY was seen on Bayshore Road on Oct. 24. And there was a noticeable movement of ORANGE SULPHURS on Oct. 23-25 passing over the back bay marshes. ORANGE SULPHURS aren't thought to be migratory, but many observers have noted local movements this fall. Fall colors are outrageously beautiful right now. PURPLE SANDPIPERS are in and can be found on the jetties throughout. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and MYRTLE WARBLERS are everywhere on the Point, and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS are back in force.

[Program notes omitted -LL]

Fine print: 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 [(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 (llarson@pucc.princeton.edu).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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