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 3 include sightings of BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, RED
PHALAROPE, WHITE IBIS (at Brig), MARBLED GODWIT, COMMON EIDER,
record PEREGRINE FALCON counts at the Hawkwatch on consecutive days,
other news of CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch and our Avalon Seawatch,
local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.
On October 1st, a BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK flew past the Hawkwatch and
perched for five minutes on the distant tree line before disappearing.
It was not relocated.
A RED PHALAROPE was seen on the Mini-pelagic trip on NJ Audubon's Autumn
Weekend on September 27th. The bird was at Five Fathom Bank, about 8 to 10
An adult WHITE IBIS was at Brigantine [division of Forsyth National Wildlife
Refuge] on September 27th and 28th, but has not been reported since.
Two MARBLED GODWITS were seen near the toll bridge to Nummy Island along
Ocean Drive on September 27th.
Two COMMON EIDERS were fly-bys at the Seawatch on October 2nd.
The old one day Hawkwatch record of 157 PEREGRINE FALCONS was broken
on September 30th with a total of 176 birds. That record lasted exactly
one day as an amazing 206 migrated by on October 1st. That day included
a one hour total of 96 birds between 3 an 4 pm.
Other interesting sighting this week included nine AMERICAN GOLDEN
PLOVERS over the Hawkwatch on September 30th and LESSER BLACK-BACKED
GULL on the beach at Higbee's Beach on October 3rd.
A good passerine flight on September 30th included TENNESSEE, CAPE MAY,
BLACKBURNIAN, and BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS along with good numbers of SCARLET
TANAGERS, INDIGO BUNTINGS, and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS.
Jerry Liguori, CMBO's Official Hawkwatcher at the Cape May Hawkwatch,
reports several fantastic flights this week, including one today,
October 3rd, triggered by a nice cold front. 24,000+ hawks were
counted at the Cape May Hawkwatch in September, including 5,500+
OSPREY, 153 BALD EAGLES, 7,800+ SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 944 COOPER'S
HAWKS, 2 N. GOSHAWKS, 2,300+ BROAD-WINGED HAWKS, 4,600 AMERICAN
KESTREL, 1,000+ MERLIN, and 558 PEREGRINE FALCONS. A GOLDEN EAGLE
was seen on October 1st and one on the 3rd too. Please also welcome
CMBO's two terrific Hawkwatch Education Interns, Mike Green and Sue
Hopkins. I'm sure many of you have already met them and benefited
from their presence on our hawkwatch.
CMBO's Avalon Seawatch began full time in mid-September with the terrific
efforts of Bill Seng, Dave Ward, Fred Mears, and our Seawatch Education
Intern, Mike Lanzone! The first RED-THROATED LOON passed on September 26th
along with 3,700 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, and on October 2nd they had
the previously mentioned COMMON EIDERS and 2 BROWN PELICANS.
Local Nature Notes follow: The overcast, rainy cold front that came
through on September 29thproduced terrific Monarch numbers the following
day. 1,000's were covering the bushes at natural coastal areas like Stone
Harbor Point at dawn on the 30th. CMBO's Monarch Monitoring Project
intern, Gayle Steffy, tagged over 500 Monarchs on the 30th. As of
October 2nd we're still finding sizable Monarch caterpillars on swamp and
scarlet milkweed in gardens in Cape May Point. A blustery cold front
October 3rd is triggering the next major wave of Monarchs and southern
vagrants.A Variegated Fritillary was seen from the Hawkwatch on the 3rd,
along with several migrating Mourning Cloaks. On October 1st a garden
in the Villas just north of Cape May had Fiery Skipper, White-M Hairstreak,
2 fresh Painted Ladies, and a Clouded Sulphur. A Cloudless Sulphur
was seen September 30th at Cape May Point. A butterfly round up held
October 2nd tallied 19 species, where most years 25-30 are possible.
Sachems were higher than previous October tallies. Sachems and Monarchs
are the two commonest butterflies this fall! Thousands of TREE SWALLOWS
are coming through now and swirling masses are a sight to behold!
Groundsel-tree, the bush covered with white fluffy flowers, is in bloom
now and some days attracting numbers of butterflies. Seaside Goldenrod
is in full bloom and attracting hungry Monarchs and Common Buckeyes!
Some of CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs follow: Pat and
Clay Sutton will lead a "Week long Workshop for Raptors" October 14-18
and there is still room in this workshop. On Saturday, October 5th
Pat Sutton will teach a "Backyard Habitat for Wildlife Workshop," to be
followed by a plant sale. October 12th, Dr. George Uetz, an authority on
spiders will share an indoor program and then take us on a spider outing
to see and learn more about the spiders around us. Our
next MEMBERS NIGHT is Wednesday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m., with Pat
Sutton's slide program on owls and owl listen! October 19-20 Dave Ward
will teach a 2-day Seabird ID Workshop, to include one morning in the
field and one afternoon indoors. October 26-27, Fred Mears will teach
a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course." And November 1-3 is THE BIRD
SHOW, a 3-day birding festival here in Cape May! Every day CMBO offers
one or several bird, butterfly, or botany walks that require no
preregistration -- JUST COME! Call CMBO (at 609-884-2736) for
the Fall Program Schedule, which includes details and information on
registration for the special programs and meeting place and times for
our daily walks.
CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard THE SKIMMER are offered
Every Sunday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. and Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to
12:30 p.m. One or both of these trips may run to Champagne Island,
a favorite roost site for migrant terns and shorebirds. Most sightings
of Roseate, Sandwich, Black, and Gull-billed Terns occur here! To register
for these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at
609-884-3100 and say you learned of the trips through CMBO!
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 send a request for information 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 DAILY, 9-5.
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