Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/28/1993
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. 28, 1993 include: RED-NECKED GREBE, ROSS'S GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, HARLEQUIN DUCK, GOLDEN EAGLE, AM. AVOCET, SPOTTED REDSHANK, MARBLED GODWIT, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, PARASITIC JAEGER, SHORT-EARED OWL, DICKCISSEL, VESPER SPARROW, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, EVENING GROSBEAK, and raptor and seabird flights.

The SPOTTED REDSHANK, discovered on Oct. 22 at Brigantine, and seen again Oct. 23 and possibly Oct. 24, has not been seen recently. However, it may still behoove birders to search for it, as a single Tringa can readily be unfindable there for long stretches of time. Another reason to search for it is that there have been numerous consolation prizes. On Oct. 23, when the bird was last seen well, other goodies found were: ROSS'S GOOSE, BLACK BRANT (the dark Pacific Coast race), MARBLED and HUDSONIAN GODWITS, and a WESTERN KINGBIRD. On Oct. 24, ROSS'S GOOSE, 4 HUDSONIAN and 1 MARBLED GODWIT were found by unsuccessful Redshank searchers. On Oct. 26 a MARBLED GODWIT and an AM. AVOCET were found.

By far the highlight of the week in Cape May County was a spectacular seabird flight past Avalon on Oct. 24-25. Oct. 24 saw nearly 47,000 birds counted, with just over 40,000 being Scoters. An additional 30,000 birds were counted on Oct. 25. Among the rarer birds seen on the 24th were 1 RED-NECKED GREBE, 6 HARLEQUIN DUCKS, 3 REDHEADS, 1 RUDDY DUCK, and an AM. WOODCOCK. Highlights from Oct. 25 were 1 RED-NECKED GREBE, 1 HARLEQUIN DUCK, 11 JAEGERS, and 2 each of Humbacked and Finbacked Whales. The whales were feeding in a slick close to the 8th street jetty.

This week saw two excellent early morning passerine flights, one on Oct. 23 and one Oct. 28. From Oct. 28, over 10,000 Am. Robins passed over the hawk watch in two hours. Also recorded there that day were thousands of Com. Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds, nearly 100 EVENING GROSBEAKS, many PINE SISKINS and PURPLE FINCHES, hundreds of Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a few E. Bluebirds, Am. Pipits and Rusty Blackbirds. Higbee Beach was also a good place to be on Oct. 28; the first GRASSHOPPER SPARROW of the season was found, and other goodies included Yellow-breasted Chat, Wood Thrush, Blue Grosbeaks, N. Oriole, 75+ EVENING GROSBEAKS, and one each of Prairie and Nashville Warblers. Also there were thousands of other sparrows and Yellow-Rumped Warblers and good numbers of Purple Finches and Pine Siskins. Reports from earlier in the week at Higbee included Winter Wren, Solitary Vireo and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER on Oct 22, 100+ EVENING GROSBEAKS Oct. 23, a Sedge Wren, a DICKCISSEL, and a Vesper Sparrow on Oct. 24, and a Hooded Merganser Oct. 26.

The first reports for SNOW BUNTING and LAPLAND LONGSPUR were recieved this week. A LONGSPUR and two SNOW BUNTINGS were at the South Cape May Meadows Oct. 25. Up to 3 Buntings have been seen daily since either there or along the beaches.

Almost 1200 birds were counted Oct. 22 at the Hawk Watch. Highlights were 2 BALD EAGLES, 57 N. HARRIERS, 726 SHARPSHINS and 71 MERLINS. 1392 raptors on Oct. 23 included 2 BALD EAGLES, 133 N. HARRIERS, 883 SHARPSHINS, 123 COOPER'S HAWKS, 11 N. GOSHAWKS, 37 RED-SHOULDERS, 14 BROADWINGS. Other raptors included 4 BLACK VULTURES and 84 N. HARRIERS Oct. 24, 17 RED-SHOULDERS Oct. 25, 43 MERLINS Oct. 27, and 1 BALD and 2 GOLDEN EAGLES Oct. 28.

The drake EURASIAN WIGEON remained at the State Park atleast until Oct. 26; while it hasn't been seen for 2 days chances are good it is still around on either Lighthouse or Bunker Pond. A Solitary Sandpiper and a Whimbrel, both late, flew by the hawk watch Oct. 28. An EIDER (species undetermined) flew past the sea watch Oct. 28. Last but not least, 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS were seen at S. Cape May Meadows morning and evening Oct. 27. Four Virginia Rails were heard and 3 Barn Owls were seen Oct. 23 at S. Cape May Meadows.

[local nature notes omitted -ll]

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.

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