Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/8/1998
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 8 include reports of PURPLE GALLINULE (at Brig), KING RAIL, WESTERN KINGBIRD , EURASIAN WIGEON, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A brief note: Brigantine NWR will be closed every Wednesday in October to allow hunting of Snow Geese.

An immature PURPLE GALLINULE continues in the lily covered pond just outside the entrance to Brigantine NWR. The bird has been on the left as you approach the entrance. It was last reported on October 6.

A KING RAIL continues to be conspicuous along the east Path of the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM). It was reported several times this week.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen at New England and Bayshore Roads on October 7 and another was seen along Sunset Blvd. on October 5.

Two EURASIAN WIGEON continue to be seen on Bunker Pond in front of the hawk watch.

Passerine migration this week included the following highlights: 17 species of warblers were seen on October 2 including CONNECTICUT, ORANGE-CROWNED, CAPE MAY, and BAY-BREASTED, and LEAST FLYCATCHER and CLAY-COLORED SPARROW were also seen on that day; RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was at Hidden Valley on the 3rd; YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was at Higbee Beach on the 4th; two CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were at Higbee Beach on the 5th; the 6th say BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO on the Point, and HOODED WARBLER and LINCOLNS SPARROW at Higbee Beach.

Two PARASITIC JAEGERS were off the Point on the 7th, and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was there on 4th. A MARBLED GODWIT was seen at Stone Harbor Point on October 7, along with 200 WESTERN SANDPIPERS and 2 WILLETS.

Highlights from the Cape May Hawk Watch included over 1,400 birds on the 5th including 7 BALD EAGLES, 62 PEREGRINE FALCONS, and 96 MERLINS. The hawk watch is manned this year by counters Pete Gustas and Vince Elia, with education interns Cameron Cox and Jim Tietz.

The Avalon Seawatch got under way on September 22. This years counters are Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Scott Barnes. The Seawatch interns are Jim Tietz and Gail Dwyer. Good flights of CANADA GEESE and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were seen this week, but the fireworks at the Seawatch are yet to come.

Local nature Notes follow: An excellent influx of Monarch Butterflies was seen this week. Monarchs show up in numbers at Cape May on the same conditions as do birds, strong northerly or northwesterly winds. The monarch tagging project has tagged hundreds of monarchs. Late season southern wanderers continue to be seen around Cape May Point. A Sleepy Orange was at Villas on October 2. Clouded Sulphurs, Long-tailed Skippers, Clouded Skippers, Little Yellows, Ocola Skippers, and white-M Hairstreaks are all being seen around Cape May Point. The flight of Cloudless Sulphurs is finally tailing off somewhat.abated somewhat. However with so many sulphurs already having moving through, many have laid eggs.

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 http://www.njaudubon.org

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 GOOD BIRDING!

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