Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/3/2002
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, October 3, 2002. Highlights from the last week include BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, SWAINSON'S HAWK, LARK SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, COMMON EIDER, PARASITIC JAEGER, GREAT CORMORANT, LITTLE GULL, MARBLED GODWIT, AMERICAN AVOCET, and news of the migration.

A young male BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was seen at a feeder along Second Ave. in Sea Isle City on Sept. 29th, but it has not been relocated.

A LONG-BILLED CURLEW was seen from the Avalon Seawatch on Sept. 30th, flying into Townsend's Inlet, but this bird was also not relocated.

An immature SWAINSON'S HAWK, described as "intermediate morph," has been seen on and off around Cape May from Sept. 28th through today, Oct. 3rd. The bird has been seen at the Rea Farm, from the Hawkwatch, from The Nature Conservancy Preserve ("The Meadows"), and over residential areas in West Cape May and Cape May Point.

The LARK SPARROW at the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary was reported again on Sept. 28th.

CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS have been seen at Hidden Valley on Oct. 1st, at the parking area for the old Magnesite plant near Sunset Beach, Cape May Point on Sept. 29th, and along Lighthouse Ave., Cape May Point, on Sept. 28th.

Fourteen COMMON EIDERS were seen from the Avalon Seawatch on Sept. 30th, and a single Eider was at the entrance to the Cape May harbor ("Cold Spring Inlet") on Oct. 1st. PARASITIC JAEGERS are being seen daily from the Avalon Seawatch (21 tallied on Oct. 1st) and from the Hawkwatch in Cape May Point (5 counted on Sept. 30th). A GREAT CORMORANT was seen from the Seawatch on Oct. 1st, and one was seen from the Hawkwatch on Sept. 30th. A first winter LITTLE GULL was seen from the Seawatch on Sept. 27th. The season's first RED-THROATED LOON was spotted on Sept. 30th from the Seawatch.

One or two MARBLED GODWITS continue to be seen on occasion from the base of the free bridge at Nummy Island, but the AMERICAN AVOCET here has not been reported since Sept. 28th.

Songbird migration slowed during the last week, but many interesting songbirds continue to be found around Cape May, including DICKCISSEL, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, MOURNING WARBLER, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, and many others.

Migrating raptor numbers have been very good in Cape May again this week. The official CMBO hawkwatch totaled 2052 on Sept. 28th and 1130 on Sept. 29th.

The bullet workshop on Raptors October 12 & 13 has filled, but a second section is possible. Call for details. A few spots are still open for the gala New Jersey Audubon Cape May Autumn Weekend & THE Bird Show, Oct. 25 27. Contact CMBO at (609) 861-0700 for more information about these and other upcoming programs for the busy and exciting fall migration season.

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration, and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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