Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/21/1996
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 21 includes sightings of ROSS'S GULL (in Delaware), RED CROSSBILL, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, ICELAND GULL, EURASIAN WIGEON, news of CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch and our Avalon Seawatch, local nature notes, an announcement about Public Meetings for input on how we'd like to use the Cape May NWR, an announcement about an upcoming Pelagic Trip, news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips, local Christmas Bird Count dates and contacts.

The ROSS'S GULL in Delaware was seen as recently as November 20th at Indian River Inlet.There have also been reports of SNOWY OWL from Cape Henlopen State Park. For more details call the Delaware Birding Hotline at 302-658-2747.

An adult male RED CROSSBILL fed on pine cones in the Cape May Point State Park on November 20th. The bird was in the pines between the lighthouse and the park offices.

The WHITE-WINGED DOVE continues to be seen along Sea Grove Ave. on Cape May Point. It was seen as recently as November 20th.

The ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER seen at the Beanery most of last week was last reported on November 16th.

A HARLEQUIN DUCK was seen near the Coast Guard jetty on the Wildwood Crest side on November 18th.

A 1st winter ICELAND GULL was seen near the fish docks along Ocean Drive on November 18th.

Two EURASIAN WIGEON can be found on Lighthouse Ponds (the ponds along the Red trail in the Cape May Point State Park. They have been present for some time.

The two WESTERN KINGBIRDS that have been frequenting the area near Hannah Drive off of Shunpike were last reported on November 16th. WESTERN KINGBIRDS were also reported from Higbee Beach and Sea Grove Ave. on the 16th.

Other interesting sightings this week include VESPER SPARROW and HOUSE WREN at Hidden Valley Ranch on the 16th, EVENING GROSBEAK as a fly-over at the State Park on the same day, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER on Cape May Point at Cape Ave. and the dunes on the 17th, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW along 2nd Ave. in West Cape May from the 17th to the 19th, a DICKCISSEL near 3rd and West Aves. on the 17th, a very late NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH at Higbee Beach on the 17th, SNOW BUNTINGS along the Beach at SCMM and on the beach in Wildwood Crest on the 18th, an INDIGO BUNTING at Higbee Beach on the 19th, and a CHAT along Sunset Blvd on the 20th.

Highlights of CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch this week include 2 late OSPREYS, 4 more BALD EAGLES, 3 N. GOSHAWKS on November 15 and 1 on the 18th, 25 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS on the 15th, a real late BROAD-WINGED HAWK on the 16th, a GOLDEN EAGLE on the 15th, and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and two GOLDEN EAGLES on the 20th.

From the Seawatch in Avalon we have a report of 55 KITTIWAKES on November 18th. The Seawatch has also recorded unusually high numbers of COMMON EIDERS recently with 26 passing on November 14th alone.

A winter Pelagic Birding Trip out of Brielle, NJ, will be offered Saturday, December 7th, leaving at 5 a.m. and returning that evening at 8 p.m. For more information and to register, call Focus on Nature Tours at 302-529-1876.

Two half-day Mini Pelagic trips are scheduled out of Cape May aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher on December 8th and December 14th. Trips leave at 8 a.m., cost is $35. Call 1-800-786-5445 for more details and to register.

Local Nature Notes follow: A Monarch was seen from the Cape May Hawkwatch on November 18th. Both Buckeye and Orange Sulphur were seen on the 17th. One of the GREAT natural history sightings of the decade was the claw scrape, paw prints, and scat of a possible BOBCAT off Route 50 in the Great Cedar Swamp section of the new Cape May National Wildlife Refuge on November 15th. The discovery was made by the new Refuge Assistant Manager, Bruce Luebke. Adult Bald Eagles are paired up and on territory; they might be found near their nests, like the pair that's been seen sitting side by side on the back edge of East Creek Lake each early morning. Bluebirds are in thick now and being seen at the Beanery, Higbee Beach, and on the wires along Kimble's Beach Road near the new Cape May NWR headquarters.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been holding a number of public meetings on the use of the Cape May NWR and the Brigantine or Forsythe NWR. All meetings include informal sessions from 12:30 to 5 p.m. and formal presentations from 7 to 10 p.m. For those of you interested in expressing your interests on how these areas are used is a list of meeting places and dates: November 21st in Middle Township at Township Hall, 33 Mechanic Street, in Cape May Court House, December 4 in Tuckerton at the park building in Tip Seaman County Park, and December 5 in the Brick Township Municipal Building, 401 Chambers Bridge Road. If you can't attend, but want to voice your thoughts, call Forsythe NWR at 609-652-1665 and ask for the "Issues Workbook" questionnaire or stop in and pick it up there or at the Cape May NWR headquarters on Kimble's Beach Road.

Some of CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs follow: November 23rd Louise Zemaitis will teach a workshop on "Binoculars & Spotting Scopes For Birders." Our November 30th "Waterfowl Cruise" aboard THE SKIMMER is FULL! January 6-10th, 1997, Pat and Clay Sutton and Pete Dunne will lead a Weeklong Birding Workshop for Hawks, Owls, and Winter Waterfowl. There's still room; call for the weekong workshop flyer and registration form. CMBO's weekly bird walks have wound down, but are still being offered every Tuesday and Saturday morning, and every Friday evening, and the CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard THE SKIMMER are offered every Sunday afternoon from 1:30-4:30 p.m.! Call CMBO (at 609-884-2736) for the Fall Program Schedule, which includes details and information on registration for the special programs and meeting place and times for our daily walks.

The three local Christmas Bird Counts will all be held on Sunday this year; dates and contacts follow: Cape May CBC on December 22, call Vince Elia or Louise Zemaitis at 609-884-2736; Belleplain CBC on December 29, call Paul Kosten at 609-861-5827; Cumberland CBC on January 5, call Clay Sutton at 609-465-3397.

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 send a request for information 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 DAILY, 9-5.

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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