Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/20/1998
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 19 include reports of ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, RED CROSSBILL, an unprecedented FRANKLIN'S GULL invasion, SABINE'S GULL, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was found at Hidden Valley Ranch on November 17 and was seen again on the morning of the 18th.

A RED CROSSBILL visited the Cape May Bird Observatory garden on Lily Lake briefly on November 17.

A powerful storm that cut a path through the northern part of the country and across the Great Lakes to the eastern seaboard, deposited unprecedented numbers of FRANKLIN'S GULLS off of New Jersey. An estimated 40 were seen between Avalon and Cape May on November 14 (with 28 at the Seawatch), with another 14 the next day at the Seawatch. A SABINE'S GULL was also seen offshore from Poverty Beach in Cape May on the 14th during the large gull flight.

A female HARLEQUIN DUCK was near the 2nd Ave. jetty in Cape May on November 16.

Up to Five MARBLED GODWITS have been seen at Stone Harbor Point.

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

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.

Other highlights this week included: HOUSE WREN in West Cape May on November 14th; ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW there November 14 and LINCOLN'S SPARROW the 16th; PRAIRIE WARBLER at Hidden Valley Ranch on the 16th; COMMON TERN near 2nd Ave. jetty on the 16th along with 70 BLACK SKIMMERS; BLUE-HEADED VIREO and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER at Higbee Beach on the 18th; AMERICAN BITTERN and GLOSSY IBIS at the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on the 18th; and nine FOX SPARROWS at Higbee on the 19.

Several DICKCISSELS were in the area this week, with one seen in a back yard on Sea Grove Ave. on the 17th.

A belated report was of a NORTHERN SHRIKE at Thompson's Beach on November 10.

The Cape May hawk watch will continue until November 30. RED-TAILED HAWKS and SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS form the bulk of the flight in late November. NORTHERN HARRIERS have been moving in fair numbers, with a few Bald Eagles.

The Avalon Seawatch had its long awaited big push of RED-THROATED LOONS with over 7,900 on November 19. Two HARLEQUIN DUCKS and a RED-NECKED GREBE were also seen.

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, Cloudless and Orange Sulphurs, and a few other species are still being seen. A very late Little Yellow was also seen this week. Hundreds of Green Darners have been seen around Hidden Valley Ranch and the Beanery wherever a sunny edge warms the vegetation. 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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