Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/20/2003

You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, November 20, 2003. Highlights from the last week include SELASPHORUS HUMMINGBIRD, LECONTE'S SPARROW, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, BREWER'S BLACKBIRD, NORTHERN SHRIKE, CAVE SWALLOW, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, KING EIDER, andnews of the migration.

A SELASPHORUS HUMMINGBIRD showing some characteristics of ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD (but RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD has not been ruled out) has been frequenting feeders at1012 Cape May Ave. since Nov. 15th. The two feeders here may both be seen clearly from the sidewalk in front of the house. A RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD is at a private yard in Villas with no public access, and at least 2 late RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are still around Cape May.

A LECONTE'S SPARROW was seen Nov. 15 through 18 in the 'Tower Field' at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area. A LINCOLN'S SPARROW has also been here over the same dates, with a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW seen from the 15th through the 17th.

A BREWER'S BLACKBIRD was found at the old Magnesite Plant along Sunset Blvd. Nov. 15 and 16.

An immature NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen along Ocean Drive just south of the toll bridge to Nummy's lsland on Nov. 16th.

Our most recent report of CAVE SWALLOW is a single bird seen from the Hawkwatch at Cape May Point State Park on Nov. 17th.

Ten AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS were seen flying over Cape May Point State Park on Nov. 14th.

It continues to be a banner year at the Avalon Seawatch. Highlights from the last week include KING EIDER on Nov. 16th, RED-NECKED GREBE on the 16th and 18th, HARLEQUIN DUCK on the 18th, 14 COMMON EIDERS on the 18th, 5 GREAT CORMORANTS on the 15th, and more than 20,000 RED-THROATED LOONS over the 4-day period Nov. 15th through 18th. Ten COMMON EIDERS were at the Cold Spring Jetty on the 15th.

Noteworthy reports of flyover birds include 2 COMMON REDPOLLS on Nov. 16th, a LAPLAND LONGSPUR on the 16th, and 776 PURPLE FINCHES on the 15th.

We have received no reports of the Stone Harbor/Nummy Island LONG-BILLED CURLEW this week - but the bird may still be present. Its most recent known pattern had it around the south end of Nummy's Island (near the toll bridge) at low tide, and at Stone Harbor Point at high tide. Ten MARBLED GODWITS were seen at the south end of Nummy on Nov. 16th.

Please note that the 'free bridge' connecting Nummy's Island to south Stone Harbor is now closed until further notice - at least until spring 2004 - for construction. Nummy can still be accessed fromNorth Wildwood Blvd. (drive past the 'road closed - local traffic only' sign and over the bridge).

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to Cape May Reports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland
Senior Naturalist
New Jersey Audubon Society
Cape May Bird Observatory
Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr.
PO Box3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212
(609) 884-2736

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