Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/5/1995
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending Oct. 5, 1995 include a report of SAY'S PHOEBE, BLACK-NECKED STILT, AMERICAN AVOCET, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, WESTERN KINGBIRD, migration news and announcements.

A SAY'S PHOEBE was reported on Oct. 1 from the base of the dike at Higbee Beach, near the back side of Cold Spring Campground. The bird was not reported after the initial sighting although the area was searched. The observers did obtain photographs. [One prev. Cape May Co. record, and fewer than ten for NJ --LL]

A BLACK-NECKED STILT was seen at the end of Reeds Beach Rd., across the street from the jetty, on Oct. 4. The AMERICAN AVOCET that has been seen several times along Ocean Drive in the past 2 weeks was last reported Oct. 1; it may still be in the area. HUDSONIAN GODWIT was seen as a fly-by at the Cape May Point State Park on Oct. 2; it flew over Lighthouse Pond East but was not seen from the Hawkwatch. A HUDSONIAN GODWIT was also seen in the impoundment east of the Cape May Canal bridge on Railroad Ave., not the Parkway Bridge, on Sept. 30.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen on Oct. 3 from the Higbee Beach Dike; this is the first one reported this fall. Up to four PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen harassing a flock of gulls off Cape May Point State Park today, Oct. 5. The birds were seen from the picnic pavilion at the SW corner of the parking lot.

SORA RAILS have been seen with some regularity in the S. Cape May Meadows; up to 3 were seen today, Oct. 5, at the edge of the small pond west of the observation platform. One was also seen today from the east path.

The season's first PURPLE SANDPIPERS were seen on the beachfront in Cape May Oct. 5. The EURASIAN WIGEON drake continues to be seen at various spots around the point, including both Lighthouse Ponds, Bunker Pond, Lily Lake, and even offshore. Many ROYAL TERNS and a smaller number of CASPIAN TERNS are being seen this week along the beach at the State Park.

Passerines were sparse this week. Two CONNECTICUT WARBLERS were seen at Higbee Beach Oct. 3, and a fly-over RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was seen there the same day. A WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was seen in the Higbee parking lot Oct. 5.

We are in the second month of the CMBO Hawkwatch, staffed this year by Andre Robinson; Jerry Ligouri and Paul Koenig are our education interns. Sept. 28 brought 612 AMERICAN KESTRELS, 54 MERLINS, 103 PEREGRINES; Oct. 2-3 also brought good falcon movements, with over 200 Kestrels each day, 37 Merlins on Oct. 3, and over 80 Peregrines each day; 184 OSPREY passed on Oct. 2; 642 SHARP-SHINS, 347 COOPER'S HAWKS, one GOSHAWK, and 4 BALD EAGLES on Oct. 1.

The CMBO Seawatch at the north end of Avalon is staffed by Dave Ward, Clay Sutton, Mike O'Brien, Fred Mears. It began Sept. 22, and already there is good movement and variety, Oct. 29 there were COMMON EIDER, several PARASITIC JAEGERS, SURF SCOTER, BLACK SCOTER, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, a BONAPARTE'S GULL and some NORTHERN GANNETS.

Local nature notes follow. During the NJAS Cape May Weekend Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 29 species have been found, even though QUESTION MARK and COMMA were missed (both possible). Some highlights included: GULF FRITILLARY Oct. 4 on Cape May Point in a private garden on Alexander Ave.; a SLEEPY ORANGE, also on Alexander Ave., Oct. 3; VARIEGATED FRITILLARY Oct. 1 and 4; lone WHITE-M HAIRSTREAKS were found at Pavilion Circle garden and at Hidden Valley; a few AMERICAN SNOUTS on the State Park trails and near CMBO; RED-SPOTTED PURPLE at Hidden Valley and Cold Spring Campground; a number of different LONG-TAILED SKIPPERS, several FIERY SKIPPERS and OCOLA SKIPPERS at Pavilion Circle; CLOUDED SKIPPERS at CMBO's butterfly garden; HORACE'S DUSKYWING on Lincoln Ave., Cape May Point, Oct. 1; and a COMMON CHECKERED SKIPPER Oct. 2 on the dunes at Crystal and Alexander Ave.

Be sure to pick up CMBO's new Birding and Butterfly Map which shows all these locations.

Hurricane Opal's wet weather today, Oct. 5, created lots of rain pools, and WANDERING GLIDER dragonflies were seen laying eggs in the pools in the State Park. BLUE-FACED MEADOWFLY, a non-migratory dragonfly, can be found now along the State Park Trails.

[program information deleted--LL]

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 a send a request for info 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 9-5 every day but Monday.

The Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if warranted. [Compiled by CMBO staff; transcribed by L. Larson (llarson@pucc.princeton.edu).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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