Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/29/1998
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 29 include reports OF VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, EURASIAN WIGEON, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, MARBLED GODWIT, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW was reported from New England Rd. across from the Hidden Valley parking lot on October 23, but there were no repeat sightings or reports.

Two male EURASIAN WIGEONS continue to be seen on the ponds in the Cape May Point State Park, most often in Lighthouse Pond west. Also, a female EURASIAN WIGEON was found along the east walk at the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on October 28.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was at the Hawk Watch platform on October 28, and two were in West Cape May on the 24th.

A MARBLED GODWIT continues to be seen around Hereford inlet.

Passerine migration this week included the following highlights: RED-HEADED WOODPECKER flew past the Hawk Watch in the State Park on October 23rd; a LINCOLN'S SPARROW was easily seen at the Hawk Watch early in the week; six ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS and a BARN SWALLOW were in the State Park on the 24th; also on the 24th, two NASHVILLE WARBLERS, two WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, three VESPER SPARROWS, and NORTHERN PARULA were in West Cape May, while CAPE MAY WARBLER and BLUE-HEADED VIREO were at Hidden Valley Ranch; THREE LAPLAND LONGSPURS were near the free bridge on Nummy Island on the 25th; and SNOW BUNTING was at SCMM on the 26th.

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at the Hawk Watch on October 26th, and near the ferry terminal on the 26th. A big seabird flight past Cape May point included over 500 FORSTER'S TERNS. A COMMON TERN loafed with 30 FORSTER'S TERNS and 200 LAUGHING GULLS in Bunker Pond on the 28th. Two CATTLE EGRETS were along Rt. 47 north of Goshen on October 29.

The hawk flight tapered off as the week unfolded, with the highest count coming on the 23rd with almost 1,300 birds seen. A GOLDEN EAGLE was over Cape May Point on October 29. The hawk watch is manned this year by counters Pete Gustas and Vince Elia, with education interns Cameron Cox and Jim Tietz.

An incredible seabird flight occurred at the Avalon Sea Watch on October 26. About 75,000 birds were counted that day, mostly BLACK SCOTERS and SURF SCOTERS and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS. This years counters are Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Scott Barnes. The Seawatch interns are Jim Tietz and Gail Dwyer.

Local nature Notes follow: The monarch tagging project has tagged an astounding seven thousand monarchs this season. Other butterfly highlights this week included Little Yellow and White-M Hairstreak in Cumberland County on October 25, and a count of over 20 Question Marks in the State Park on the 25th. On October 23, a Cloudless Sulphur (a southern immigrant), was seen emerging from a chrysalis at Higbee Beach. The fruit and acorn crops this year are excellent this year, to the delight of migrant birds. Virginia creeper, porcelain berry, grapes, poke berry, and green-briar are all loaded with fruit. Sweet Gum trees have heavy crops of fruit also, the seeds of which are fed on by finches.

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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