Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 10/9/1997
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 9th include sightings of AMERICAN AVOCET, ROSS' GOOSE, LITTLE GULL, MARBLED GODWIT, EURASIAN WIGEON, local nature notes, a newsflash on our horseshoe crabs conservation efforts, an invitation to join us for The Bird Show, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

On 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 -- $50/person for all three days (if you register before October 20; or $20 per person per day. Non-members add $5 to these rates. To register, call Kathy Iozzo and ask for a registration form or register over the phone. The number is 609-861-0700, x-10.

An AMERICAN AVOCET was last reported on October 7 in the back bay near the 2 mile toll along Ocean Drive.

A ROSS' GOOSE was on the southwest side of the west pool at Forsythe (or Brig) on Oct. 4.

An adult LITTLE GULL was reported from the Ferry on October 5.

Up to 4 MARBLED GODWITS continue in the back bay, most recently seen on October 4.

The EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen in both Lily Lake and Bunker Pond in the Cape May Point State Park.

Good songbird flights on October 6 & 7 included some of the following highlights: on the 6th OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER and CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at Higbee Beach, along with 19 species of warblers. On the 7th there was a late YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER plus CONNECTICUT WARBLER, PHILADELPHIA VIREO, 4 LINCOLN'S SPARROWS, and 20 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS around the Point.

The Hawkwatch to date (including October 8th) has tallied in 44,236 raptors. October 6 & 7 were 2,000+ hawk days, and October 7th broke the one-day PEREGRINE FALCON total with 291. Please welcome this year's hawkwatch team: Jerry Liguor, Pete Dunne on Tuesdays, Vince Elia on Wednesdays, and our Education Interns, Mike Green, 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. Peak movements of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS are occurring now, with 1,000 passing daily, 9,900 on October 7 and 4,500 as of 9 a.m. on October 9. Scoter are increasing now, including 2,600 BLACK SCOTERS on October 4. A COMMON EIDER passed on October 4. COMMON LOONS numbers are increasing and the season's first RED-THROATED LOON was seen October 3. Four PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen on October 5. Dozens of N. GANNETS are passing daily, with a flight of 150 on October 5, nearly all immatures.

CMBO's October 3rd and 4th Champagne Island Cruises enjoyed 4, numbers of MARBLED GODWITS, AM. OYSTERCATCHERS & BLACK SKIMMERS, CLAPPER RAIL, BROWN PELICANS, and the AMERICAN AVOCET on October 3. The next trip is scheduled for Saturday, October 18th, from 3-6:30 p.m. There is still room. Stop by either CMBO center to register or call 609-861-0700.

CMBO's Monarch Monitoring Project tagged over 2,700 monarchs as of October 4th. Monarchs were plentiful this past week. October 7th & 8th 100's were seen on the Cape. For the first time on October 4th numbers of females exceeded the males. Dick Walton is again overseeing the project and this year's Research Intern is Elizabeth Hunter and for a few weeks Gayle Steffy, will be part of the project. Elizabeth & Gayle are using colored tags, a different color each day. Write your sightings down at the CMBO, noting the tag color, the number if you can read it, and where and when you saw it -- or tell Elizabeth or Gayle.

Local Nature Notes follow: Its a great fall for southern butterflies that have wandered north. Ocola Skippers are being seen daily. Jim Dowdell reports that his garden in the Villas, 7 miles north of Cape May Point, attracts 2-5 Ocola Skippers daily that are "on the move", heading north. Ocola Skippers were seen in a Goshen garden on October 5 & 6, a Cape May Point garden near the beach on October 8, in the South Cape May Meadows on October 4, and at Hidden Valley on the 3rd. Long-tailed Skippers are also being seen. One was at Pavilion Circle Gardens in Cape May Point on October 3rd & 5th, and a Goshen garden on Oct. 3. Fiery Skippers are numerous around Cape May and Cape May Point and as far north as the Villas. This week saw an influx of Red Admirals and an emergence of Question Marks and Commas. Some late dates occurred this week with a Viceroy and a handful of Silver-spotted Skippers, Horace's Duskywings, Zabulon Skippers, and a Summer Azure all reported. Sachems continue to be the most common skippers. Gray Hairstreaks are still being seen.

Conservation News Flash -- At the end of September the marine fisheries council vetoed the Governor's Moratorium on horseshoe crab harvest, much to our dismay and following a lot of hard work. On October 8th the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a "STAY" on the Marine Fisheries veto and harvesting has been stopped until October 15th. One small battle won. We'll keep you posted.

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 daily bird, butterfly, or wildflower walks, hawk & seabird id mini-workshops. Also offered weekly, but requiring preregistration, are Birding By Boat trips each Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. 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.

Special upcoming preregistration programs include "Pishing 101" with Pete Dunne on October 9th; a "Feed the Birds" Workshop on October 11; a "Learn How to Share Nature With your Child" program on October 11; CMBO's next Member's Night on October 15 will host Clay and Pat Sutton, presenting a slide program and book signing on "How to Spot Hawks & Eagles;" a 2-Day Seabird ID Course (including one indoor workshop & 2 field trips) taught by Dave Ward on October 18 & 19; a "Champagne Island Cruise for Fall Migrants" on October 18 at 3:00 p.m.; "a Bird Watching For Beginners 2-Day Course" October 25-26; "THE BIRD SHOW" October 31 through November 2, and MUCH MORE!

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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