Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/17/1994
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Nov. 17, 1994 include sightings of: WOOD STORK, LECONTE'S SPARROW, CAVE SWALLOW, SWAINSON'S HAWK, migration news, nature notes and announcements.

A WOOD STORK was seen briefly from the hawk watch on Nov. 11. The bird appeared to land out by the Beanery, but it could not be relocated by searchers. A LECONTE'S SPARROW was seen at Higbee Beach in the "tower field" on Nov. 12. Extensive searching did not relocate this bird either.

CAVE SWALLOWS were seen again this week, with 2 Nov. 11 over the South Cape May Meadows, 3 over the Beanery the same day, and one at the meadows Nov. 13. Three different SWAINSON'S HAWKS were seen this week; two showed up on Nov. 14, one dark morph and one light morph; and another light morph was seen on Nov 16. The dark morph was also seen on the morning and afternoon of Nov. 15.

Other highlights this week included: a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW at Higbee Beach on Nov. 13, and a DICKCISSEL at Cape May Point No. 16. Late-lingering migrants this week were a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER Nov. 12 at the Point, and 2 N. ORIOLES at CMBO today, Nov. 17.

On Nov. 11, the Cape May hawk watch witnessed one of the best late-season flights in the watch's history. Over 1000 Red-tailed hawks were tallied, nearly three times the previous high daily count; six GOLDEN EAGLES were also seen, another daily record, as well as a late BROAD-WINGED HAWK.

POMARINE JAEGERS were reported twice this week off Cape May Point, with one seen Nov. 14 and another Nov. 16.

CMBO's full time sea watch is being conducted from Seventh Ave. at the north end of Avalon. By Nov. 11, 446,412 seabirds had been tallied by the Seawatchers. On Mon., Nov. 14, an exceptional NORTHERN GANNET flight took place, with over 4000 counted. Other highlights included a RAZORBILL Nov. 12, two KING EIDERS Nov. 13, and a COMMON EIDER Nov. 14. Come visit and bring your scope.

Announcements: A "mini-pelagic" trip has been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, 8 AM to Noon. The Cape May Whale Watcher boat in Cape May will be used; cost is $25. The boat will explore nearshore waters including Five-fathom Bank, MacRae's Shoal, and the mouth of the Delaware Bay. For more info or reservations, call Jersey Cape Nature Excursions, (609) 898 9631.

Local nature notes: Up to four Humpback Whales put on a spectacular show at the sea watch Nov. 12; 3 were quite close and could be seen lunge-feeding, coming out of the water with their mouths open. Storms have swept the leaves off the trees, and it's a good time to begin looking for stick nests that may be re-used by Great Horned Owls, which do not build their own. Butterflies are now seriously reduced in numbers, but a small late push of Monarchs was noted this week with fair numbers Nov. 12.

[Program notes omitted -LL]

Fine print: 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, phone our office or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. 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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