Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/23/1995
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. 23, 1995 include sightings of RED CROSSBILL, LITTLE GULL, LARK SPARROW, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, announcements and local nature notes.

A male RED CROSSBILL was seen briefly on Nov. 19 on Cape May Point near the Gingerbread Church. Also on the 19th, a LITTLE GULL and a COMMON EIDER were seen near the Coast Guard jetty. A LARK SPARROW was present in West Cape May on Second Ave., on Nov. 21-22; this is the same spot that hosted last year's December Fork-tailed Flycatcher.

A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was seen near Ferry Rd. and Old Shore Rd. just north of the canal, on Nov. 21.

Some interesting late migrants were seen this past week. A SCARLET TANAGER was seen in The Villas on Nov. 20. An INDIGO BUNTING was at Cape May Point feeder on Nov. 20, in the company of a DICKCISSEL. Both NASHVILLE WARBLER and BLACKPOLL WARBLER were seen on Sea Grove Ave., on Nov. 21; the two warblers were seen while birders were searching for an Empidonax flycatcher that had been seen there earlier in the day (it was not relocated). Somewhat more seasonal, an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was at Higbee Beach Nov. 18, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was at the Beanery also on Nov. 18.

Katy Duffy headed home, ending another Owl banding season at the Point. This season, she banded an amazing 668 Owls, of which 637 were SAW-WHET OWLS, 27 LONG-EARED OWLS, 3 BARN OWLS; some falls she barely breaks 100. The night of Nov. 17, 93 Owls were banded, all Saw-whets except for one Long-eared; the same evening, observers scanning from the platform at the Cape May Meadows saw 10 large owls, either Long-eared or Short-eared, migrating over; also there were two resident Great Horned Owls and a Barn Owl. Any clear night with gentle north or north-west wind can still be good for migrating owls; the platform at the Meadows is a perfect area, since it gives a view over the vegetation and faces into the sunset.

We are in the final week of the CMBO Hawkwatch, staffed this year by Andre Robinson. Raptor highlights this week included a dark morph RED-TAILED HAWK on Nov. 17 and an OSPREY on Nov. 20.

The CMBO Seawatch at the north end of Avalon is staffed by Dave Ward, Clay Sutton, Mike O'Brien, Fred Mears. To date, the watchers have recorded over 800,000 seabirds. Recent highlights included: a flyby DOVEKIE Nov. 17 and another Nov. 18; two SHORT-EARED OWLS on Nov. 18; 6700 RED-THROATED LOONS, 2800 GANNETS, and a mostly albino DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT on Nov. 20. Also, a RED-NECKED GREBE Nov. 21, several COMMON EIDERS Nov. 22; thousands of scoters daily.

Local nature notes:

After a week-long absence, a few butterflies appeared between Nov. 17 and 21, including MONARCH, ORANGE SULPHUR, RED ADMIRAL and BUCKEYE. On Nov. 21, a GREEN DARNER dragonfly was seen at the Avalon Seawatch.


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

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.

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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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