Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/16/1995
Hotline Cooperative mailing list, PROVIDED THAT no changes are made, credit is given and headers are included. Queries and comments to CMBO, please, not to transcriber. 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 Nov. 16, 1995 include sightings of YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, RED CROSSBILL, COMMON REDPOLL, migration news, Hawkwatch and Seawatch news, announcements and nature notes.

CMBO has recieved word that Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge is CLOSED until further notice due to the federal government closures.

A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was seen in the Villas, today, Nov. 16, at the intersection of Wildwood Ave. and Bay Drive.

Six RED CROSSBILLS and a COMMON REDPOLL were seen very briefly in a Villas neighborhood, feeding on Pinecones, this past week.

Some lingering migrants this past week included: CAPE MAY WARBLER on Cape May Point, at the intersection of Ocean and Holly drives, today Nov. 16, present since Nov. 13; also, a BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER at the Seawatch Nov. 15; BALTIMORE (Northern) ORIOLES at Cape May Point on Nov. 14 and 16; and a LINCOLN'S SPARROW at Cape May Point Nov. 16. VESPER SPARROWS are present at both Hidden Valley Ranch and at the Beanery the past week.

We are in the third month of the CMBO Hawkwatch, staffed this year by Andre Robinson; Jerry Ligouri and Ulf Koenig are our education interns. Raptor flights this week were fairly slow, but a SHORT-EARED OWL was seen there today, Nov. 16, as well as an AMERICAN BITTERN.

The CMBO Seawatch at the north end of Avalon is staffed by Dave Ward, Clay Sutton, Mike O'Brien, Fred Mears. Passing now in numbers are GANNETS, LOONS, and SCOTERS. Recent highlights include: major RED-THROATED LOON flights Nov. 10, with 1700, Nov. 11 with 2300; two RED-NECKED GREBES Nov. 6; 845 GREEN-WINGED TEAL Nov. 10; 4 COMMON EIDER Nov. 10 and 9 Nov. 11; one KING EIDER Nov. 12; the first CANVASBACK Nov. 12; 16 PARASITIC JAEGERS Nov. 8; and single BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES Nov. 10 and 11.

Migrating Owls have also been seen at the Seawatch; to date, 7 SHORT-EARED OWLS. Short-ears have also been seen at Higbee Beach Nov. 11 and Hidden Valley Ranch Nov. 16. Nov. 9 was excellent for observing owl migration with 18 to 20 large owls and 2 Saw-whet Owls just at dusk at the Cape May Meadows. That same evening the CMBO Owl banding project banded 108 SAW-WHETS and 4 LONG-EARED OWLS. Observers on the Cape also witnessed a major movement of AMERICAN WOODCOCK at the Villas, 120 birds counted in the half-hour of dusk.

The Owl banding project has banded nearly 500 owls so far this fall. Nov. 10, 21 SAW-WHETS & 1 LONG-EAR; Nov. 12, 51 Saw-whets and one Long-eared; Nov. 19, 29 Saw-whets and 3 Long-eared. Owl bander Katy Duffy has contacted other owl banding stations, and learned that they too are having best-ever years. Here are some totals [please forgive transcription errors]: Cape May: 442 Saw-whets as of Nov. 14; Kiptopeke, VA: 383; Assateague, 158; Turkey Point, near Assateague: 150; Castleman[?] River, MD: 274; Little Swamico[?], WI: 875; Duluth: 1432. A high percentage of birds at all sites are immature, telling us breeding success was very high.

Jersey Cape Nature Excursions offers winter waterfowl cruises through protected back bay waters, every Sat. & Sun. 10 AM to 1 PM, aboard a 37 foot catamaran with enclosed cabin; call (609) 884-3712 for reservations or information.

A Cape May mini-pelagic is scheduled for Sat., Dec. 2, 8 AM to noon aboard the Cape May whale-watcher; the destination near-shore waters. In 1994 this trip saw several MANX SHEARWATERS, RAZORBILLS and BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES. Call (609) 884-5445 or (800) 786-5445 for reservations or information.

South Jersey Christmas Bird Counts: Belleplain, Dec. 17, call Paul Kosten at (609) 861-5827 Cape May, Dec. 31, call Louise Zemaitis or Vince Elia at (609) 884-2736 (CMBO); Cumberland County, Jan. 1, Clay Sutton, (609) 465-3397

Local nature notes: The last butterflies noted were Nov. 10, Monarchs, Admirals, and Ladies. The last big push of Monarchs past the seawatch was Nov. 3, with 38.

[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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