Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/28/1999
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 28 include reports of, SAYS PHOEBE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, RED CROSSBILLS & WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, local nature notes, news of an upcoming pelagic trip, and news of CMBO.

A SAYS PHOEBE, first found along Kimbles Beach Road on Sunday October 24, continued at that location through at least Wednesday morning October 27. We have received no reports for today October 28. Kimbles beach Road is about miles south of Reeds Beach. The bird has been seen around the Cape May NWR office, although more often in the field to the north, which can be accessed by passing through the hedge row behind the office.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen at Forsythe NWR (aka Brig) on October 25. The bird was seen along the north dike. We have no further reports.

Both RED CROSSBILLS and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS have been seen around Cape May Point this week. Up to 14 RED CROSSBILLS were on Cape May Point on October 27 and two WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were flybys over Lily Lake on October 28.

Three SHORT-EARED OWLS were at the South Cape May Meadows at dusk on October 27, and individuals were seen from the Hawk Watch on the 27th and 28th.

Two MARBLED GODWITS continue on the flats at Stone Harbor Point.

Some other highlights included SEDGE WREN along the east end of Lily Lake on October 24, a COMMON REDPOLL flyby at the Hawk Watch on the 25th, several VESPER SPARROWS at Hidden Valley during the period, LINCOLNS SPARROW at Hidden Valley on the 25th, a DICKCISSEL at the feeder at CMBOs Goshen center through the period, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS at a scattering of locations including Higbee Beach and the Bayshore tract. A major flight of PINE SISKINS is under way, with birds being reported from all over.

A long list of late migrants have been noted this week. Here are some highlights: BLACKPOLL WARBLERS have been present at a number of locations including Hidden Valley and the Bayshore Road tract of Hidden Valley; YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was at Higbee beach on October 24; RED-EYED VIREO was at the Bayshore tract on the 25th; two TENNESSEE WARBLERS were at the Beanery on the 25th; BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER and TWO NASHVILLE WARBLERS were at Hidden Valley on the 25th; AMERICAN REDSTART was at Higbee Beach on the 27th; two BALTIMORE ORIOLES were at the Bayshore tract on the 27th and one was at Hidden Valley on the 28th; and PRAIRIE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, and MAGNOLIA WARBLER were at Hidden Valley on the 27th.

The Cape May Hawk Watch has seen in influx of NORTHERN GOSHAWKS. Five were seen on the 25th, two on the 26th, and three on the 27th. Six GOLDEN EAGLES were counted on the 24th. Eight ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS have been counted so far this season and it looks like the seasonal high total of ten will be topped this year. The buteo flight has gotten under way with a significant increase in RED-TAILED HAWK numbers.

CMBOs Avalon Seawatch officially began on September 22nd. The Avalon Seawatch is at 7th street and the beach at the north end of Avalon. Last weeks hotline noted that we were on the verge of a major Sea Bird flight and October 27 lived up to the billing. Over 87,000 birds were counted including almost 28,000 BLACK SCOTER, 38,000 SURF SCOTER, nearly 15,000 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, over 350 RED-THROATED LOONS, and almost 1,000 NORTHERN GANNETS. The seasons first RAZORBILL and a RED-NECKED GREBE were also tallied on the 27th.

Local Nature Notes: This seasons monarch flight was one of, if not the best, ever. Between September 22 and October 20, Chris Wood, the Sea Bird counter, tallied about 80,000 Monarchs moving south along the coast, and thats just on the barrier island side. About 4,300 Monarchs were tagged. A recent recovery was of a Monarch tagged in Cape May and recovered the next day at Cape Charles, VA nearly 130 miles south.

Focus on Nature Tours is organizing a pelagic trip out of Cape May on Sunday November 21 aboard the Morning Star. The trip runs from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $95. For more info call 1-800-362-0869, or email font@focusonnature.com.

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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