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 7 include reports of EURASIAN WIGEON, ORANGE-CROWNED
WARBLER, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, more details on the huge falcon flight
from the Sept. 30th, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.
Note: Forsythe NWR (or Brigantine) will be closed on Thursdays until
October 28 for goose management.
A EURASIAN WIGEON was seen in the ponds at the Cape May Point State Park
on October 2. This is likely the same bird that has been seen for a
number of years at the same site.
An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was present at Hidden Valley Ranch on October
There were several reports of CLAY-COLORED SPARROW this week. Two were
near the parking lot at Hidden Valley Ranch on October 6. Another
entertained a Hawk Watch full of observers on October 2 as it fed in
plain view on the ground in front of the watch. One was also tallied at
Stone Harbor Point on October 1.
Good songbird flights occurred on October 6 and 7. Some highlights
included: 2 DICKCISSELS, 2 PHILADELPHIA VIREOS, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, and a
LEAST FLYCATCHER on the 6th at Higbees Beach. The 7th produced VESPER
SPARROW, LEAST FLYCATCHER, and HOODED WARBLER at Higbees Beach and
perched DICKCISSEL and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW at Hidden Valley Ranch.
Also at hidden Valley was a late BLUE-WINGED WARBLER. Earlier in the
week, Higbees Beach had CONNECTICUT WARBLER on the 1st, along with
HOODED WARBLER and GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH. A Pine Warbler was on Cape May
Point on the 5th, along with a late VEERY.
An unusual bird on Cape Island, several WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH reports
were received this week. 2 were on Cape May Point on the 6th, 2 were in
West Cape May the same day, and 1 was at CMBOs Northwood Center, also
on the 6th.
CMBOs sunset Cruise for Fall Migrants on October 2 had 2 MARBLED
GODWITS, 2 AMERICAN BITTERNS, and about 50 WILLETS.
The Cape May Hawk Watch began its 24th year on September 1 on the newly
constructed hawk watch at the Cape May Point State Park. This years
primary counter is Dave Hedeen from Cincinnati, OH. Vince Elia will be
spelling Dave on his days off. Also there our hawk watch Education
Interns, Lara Moeckly and Glen Davis. The final totals on the incredible
falcon flight on September 30 were record smashing. The total of 5,038
AMERICAN KESTRELS was a daily record, crushing the old record of 3,694
and the total of 867 MERLINS easily bested the old mark of 558. The
total hawk count for the day of 8,192 raptors was the 4th highest daily
count of all time.
CMBOs Avalon Seawatch officially began on September 22nd. The Avalon
Seawatch is at 7th street and the beach at the north end of Avalon. This
years counter is Chris Wood from Lakewood, Colorado. Fred Mears will do
the count on Chris days off and on hand during the peak period will be
Glen Davis, Jim Armstrong, and Gail Dwyer.
Local Nature Notes: An incredible of Monarch movement took place on
October 2, possibly the biggest ever recorded at Cape May. Observers at
the Cape May Point State Park estimated that about 65,000 to 70, 000
Monarchs passed the Hawk Watch between 8 a.m. and noon. At times, there
were as many as 400 to 500 per minute passing the watch. The main
flight-line was along the dunes, where clouds of Monarchs passed
continuously. The hawk counter had difficulty in finding raptors amid
the swirling kettles of Monarchs. The Monarch Project tagged over 700
Monarchs during that day. Estimates for the overall flight around the
Cape May peninsula were as high as a quarter million Monarchs.
On Saturday, October 23 there will be a celebration to recognize the
transfer of the former Coast Guard property in Lower Township to the
Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. The site will be known as the "Two
Mile Beach Unit". All are welcome. The ceremony is at 10:00 a.m. In
addition, the Cape May Bird Observatory will offer 1-hour bird and
butterfly walks at the site at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and one following
the ceremony at around 11:00 a.m. The site of the celebration and walks
is at the south end of Wildwood Crest, with access off Ocean Drive just
as you enter Wildwood Crest.
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
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