Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/30/1997
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 30 include sightings of LECONTE'S SPARROW, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, SOOTY SHEARWATER, RAZORBILL, KING EIDER, local nature notes, an update on the horseshoe crabs issue, an invitation to join us for The Bird Show, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

THIS WEEKEND: Friday, October 31 and Saturday, Sunday, November 1 and 2, CMBO will be hosting THE BIRD SHOW in Cape May. This 3-day Festival features speakers like Kenn Kaufman, Paul Lehman, Clay Sutton, and John Kricher; a convention center filled with booths manned by companies like Swarovski, Leica, Nikon, Wings, and Field Guides; banding demonstrations, indoor workshops and programs, field trips, and of course BIRDS at what many of us who live here consider to be the most exciting time to bird Cape May. The cost is cheap -- $55/person for all three days; or $20 per person per day. Non-members add $5 to these rates. Stop by CMBO's Northwood Center or Cape May's Convention Hall on Beach Drive to register. Or stop by Convention Hall to take in all the great stuff the vendors have brought from all over the country.

A LECONTE'S SPARROW, first discovered at Higbee Beach on October 26, was seen as recently as the 28th. The bird has been in the tower fields in the field south of the center patch.

The VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW was refound along Stevens St. in West Cape May on October 25, and was seen as recently as the 29th. The bird has been feeding over the farm fields on the north side of the road with TREE SWALLOWS.

A SOOTY SHEARWATER was seen at the Avalon Seawatch on October 26. the same day both KING EIDER and RAZORBILL were also seen.

VESPER SPARROWS have been regular around the fields at Hidden Valley Ranch, with 4 seen on October 30. Hidden Valley also had a late BLUE GROSBEAK, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER on the 30th. Two BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS were in West Cape May on October 30, while a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER was at Higbee Beach the same day.

A REDHEAD was on Davy's Lake on Cape May Point on October 30, while 3 CANVASBACKS were on Lily Lake on the 28th.

On October 25 Forsythe NWR (or Brig) had a ROSS' GOOSE and 5 AMERICAN AVOCETS.

The Hawkwatch to date has tallied over 72,000 raptors. October 28 saw over 40 OSPREYS, a good

late total. On the 29th 5 BALD EAGLES, 25 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, and a late BROAD-WINGED HAWK were seen. The hawkwatch will run through Thanksgiving; this year's team is Jerry Liquori, Pete Dunne on Tuesdays, Vince Elia on Wednesdays, and our Education Interns, Peter Gustas and James Paolino.

CMBO's fulltime Seawatch at the north end of Avalon, 7th Street and the beach, is manned this season by Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Dave Ward, along with our Education Intern, James Paolino, and Gail Dwyer on weekends. Northeast winds on October 26th triggered an incredible flight with 73,000 seabirds seen, including 61,000 Scoters, 10,000 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, 6 GREAT CORMORANTS, 500 GANNETS, and 5 KITTIWAKES. 34 PARASITIC JAEGERS have been seen at the Seawatch this week, including 7 on October 25, 6 on the 27th, and 7 on the 29th. On October 30th, a young male KING EIDER was in the inlet.

Katy Duffy has again journeyed to Cape May from her home & job in Wyoming and began banding migrant owls this week. She caught & released her first SAW-WHET OWL the night of October 28th and has learned that Assateaque to the south of us banded 11 Saw-whet Owls the week before on October 23.

AN UPDATE ON THE HORSESHOE CRAB SITUATION FOLLOWS: At last the offshore trawl of Horseshoe Crabs has been made illegal -- trawling was responsible for boat loads of crabs coming into New Jersey daily until mid-October. And it looks as if the recommended regulations that New Jersey Audubon worked so hard on over the last year will be instituted. We thank all of you for your support of the Horseshoe Crab issue -- your letters and phone calls were crucial to a long term solution!

Local Nature Notes follow: Despite a few frosts in Goshen, gardens at Cape May Point have been largely spared and in warm spots out of the wind butterflies can still be found. A Long-tailed Skipper was seen at Higbee Beach on October 25. CMBO's final butterfly walk on October 29th enjoyed 11 species, including 2 American Coppers, Question Mark, 6 Painted Ladies, 1 American Lady, 3 Red Admirals, 1 Common Buckeye, 15 Monarchs, and a Fiery Skipper. The Painted Lady sightings were no doubt due to a local elementary school releasing them on October 20th, since Painted Ladies have been scarce ever since the hard winter 2 years ago. Persimmons are ripening and falling to the ground.

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North, either 1 mile south of the traffic light at Rt. 657 or 1.7 miles north of the Gulf Station in Goshen. From either direction we are just around a bend. Look for the split rail fence, brand new sign, large parking lot, and big new building beyond. This center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature store, and an wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor, featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer, and carvers. The Center is open daily 10-5, and "The Loft" art gallery is open weekends (Fri, Sat, and Sun). CMBO's Northwood Center now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. It is also open daily, 10-5.

The Cape May Bird Observatory's Program Schedule offers morning bird walks on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, an evening bird walk each Friday, and a Seabird ID Mini-workshop on Saturday November 8. Special upcoming preregistration programs include a Family Program on Weeds & Seeds on November 8, a field trip to the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge's Great Cedar Swamp Division on November 8, a Gull ID Workshop & Walk on November 15th, a Champagne Island Cruise for Fall Migrants on November 15th, a "Waterfowl Cruise" on November 22nd, a "Binoculars & Spotting Scopes Workshop" on November 29, and a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" on November 29-30. Our next Member's Night will feature a program by Katy Duffy on "Cape May's Owl Migration," on Wednesday evening, November 19th at 7:30 p.m. ALL ARE WELCOME! Stop by either center to pick up the fall issue of the Kestrel Express, to learn of all our programs or call us at 609-861-0700.

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 new Center for Research & Education at 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores. The Northwood Center in Cape May Point at 701 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point and the Center for Research & Education in Goshen, both 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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