Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/12/1998
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 November 12 include reports of RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, EURASIAN WIGEON, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, SEDGE WREN, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was at a feeder in West Cape May from November 6 through the 8th, but there have been no further reports.

EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen around Cape May Point, with one or two males appearing at various times on Bunker and Lighthouse Ponds in Cape May Point State Park, and on Lily Lake.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS appear to have taken up residence at a couple of locations around Cape May with one or two consistently in West Cape May and another near the hawk watch in the State Park.

A SEDGE WREN has been present in the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) for a number of days, but is heard or seen only intermittently. Two others were at Turkey Point (Cumberland County) on the 8th.

Passerine migration this week included the following highlights: a BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER was in West Cape May on November 6; BALTIMORE ORIOLES were at Hidden Valley Ranch and on Cape May Point on the 7th; on the 8th, GRASSHOPPER and LINCOLN'S SPARROWS were at Higbee Beach, and EVENING GROSBEAK was a fly-over in West Cape May; on the 9th, three SNOW BUNTINGS were on the street outside the Grand Hotel in Cape May city, CLIFF SWALLOW was at Higbee Beach, NASHVILLE WARBLER was at the Beanery (and on following days also), and LINCOLN'S SPARROW was on Seagrove Ave. The 12th saw RED-HEADED WOODPECKER over Cape May Point, several BALTIMORE ORIOLES at Hidden Valley Ranch, and a BLACKPOLL WARBLER in West Cape May

Other highlights included a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on Sunset Beach on November 8, three BROWN PELICANS off Cape May Point on the 10th, GLOSSY IBIS around Cape May Point most of the week, and a flight of about 200 TUNDRA SWANS over the cape on the 12th.

Brigantine NWR had the following assortment of shorebirds just before high tide on the 8th and 10th: 750 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 265 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 50+ LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 27 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 12 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, three WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, three LEAST SANDPIPERS, and three SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, along with thousands of DUNLIN, hundreds of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS.

The Cape May hawk watch will continue until November 30. The flight on November 12 had 470 birds with two BALD EAGLES, four MERLINS, six RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, and 42 NORTHERN HARRIERS.

The Cape May Point owl banding project has tallied the following: 28 LONG-EARED OWLS, 15 SAW-WHET OWLS, and two BARN OWLS.

Local nature Notes follow: This year's monarch project tagged an astounding 7,500+ monarchs this season. There have been five recoveries already from Virginia. Butterfly activity has decreased markedly, although Buckeyes, Question Marks, Clouded and Orange Sulphurs, and a few other species are still being seen. Over 30 GREEN DARNERS were around Cape May point on November 12. The fruit and acorn crops are excellent this year, to the delight of migrant birds. Virginia creeper, porcelain berry, grapes, poke berry, and green-briar are all loaded with fruit. Sweet Gum trees have heavy crops of fruit also, the seeds of which are fed on by finches.

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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