Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/23/2004
This is the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Tuesday, November 23rd, as the regular Thursday update would come on Thanksgiving Day. This update includes the full text from the Nov. 18th hotline changed only with updates. Highlights from the reporting period include WESTERN KINGBIRD, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, CAVE SWALLOW, GLAUCOUS GULL, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, KING EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, COMMON EIDER, EURASIAN WIGEON, MARBLED GODWIT, and news of the migration.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen flying past the Hawk Watch at Cape May Point State Park on Nov. 19th, and seen along Seagrove Ave. on Nov. 22nd and again on the 23rd.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was seen on Nov. 17th at the Cape May National Golf Course off Rt. 9 in Erma, in the large overgrown field on the south side of the course property. Birders must check in at the pro shop for permission to walk to this site. There have been no subsequent sightings, despite much diligent searching; the bird is gone.

A WESTERN TANAGER was reported from inaccessible private property off Sunset Blvd. on Nov. 17th. There have been no subsequent reports.

CAVE SWALLOWS continue to be seen around Cape May, often in the morning at The Nature Conservancys Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (The Meadows) and/or from the Hawk Watch, and in the evenings along Beach Ave. in the city of Cape May, especially around the Avondale Inn, at Beach & Gurney; the max count was 16, seen along Beach Ave. on the evening of Nov. 14th and again the morning of the 15th. Our most recent report is of two birds on Nov. 21st.

A SELASPHORUS (RUFOUS/ALLENS type) HUMMINGBIRD frequented feeders in Bridgeton, Cumberland County through Nov. 17th. There have been no sightings since Nov. 17th.

A GLAUCOUS GULL and a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE were seen from the Avalon Sea Watch on Nov. 20th, a young male KING EIDER was seen here on Nov. 18th, and another BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was here on the 13th. Two HARLEQUIN DUCKS and 8 GREAT CORMORANTS were seen around the pilings northeast of Poverty Beach in Cape May City on Nov. 16th, with the HARLEQUIN DUCKS still present on the 20th. A COMMON EIDER continues to frequent the Cape May Point waterfront often seen in the State Park waters (near the Bunker). Two COMMON EIDERS flew past the first bird on Nov. 12th, and two were seen in the water off the jetty at the end of Whillden Ave. on Nov. 17th. Two were still off Cape May Point on the 22nd. Another COMMON EIDER was at Sea Isle City on the 21st. A EURASIAN WIGEON was at the Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 17th and has continued through at least the 21st. Four MARBLED GODWITS continue through Nov. 18th at Stone Harbor Point, with 3 seen here on the 20th, when 12 SNOW BUNTINGS were present.

Two ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were at Higbee on the 23rd, where one had been seen on the 21st. A VESPER SPARROW was seen along Stevens St. in West Cape May on Nov. 17th. An AMERICAN BITTERN was at the Meadows on the 15th. A SNOW BUNTING was at the Rea Farm on Nov. 14th, 2 were at Stone Harbor Point on the 13th, a small flock was seen from the Hawk Watch on Nov. 17th, and one was at Two Mile Beach on the 21st. Five SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS and two NELSONS SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS were still at the marsh near Two Mile Landing, Ocean Drive, on Nov. 18th. A WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was along the West Cape May Railroad tracks on Nov. 14th. A LINCOLNS SPARROW was at Higbee on the 13th, and one was also reported here on the 21st. An AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, 10 FOX SPARROWS, and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW were at Hidden Valley on Nov. 23rd. Five WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were seen here on the 19th. FOX SPARROWS, AMERICAN PIPITS, RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, and AMERICAN WOODCOCK have all returned to Cape May. NORTHERN GOSHAWKS are still being seen daily from the Hawk Watch and at other sites all around Cape May. It continues to be a better-than-average autumn for PURPLE FINCH and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH.

Noteworthy lingering birds seen during the last week include: one BOBOLINK at Hidden Valley on Nov. 18th; a Black-throated Green Warbler at the Rea Farm on the 17th; BALTIMORE ORIOLES along New England Rd. on the 17th, at Hidden Valley on the 16th, and at Higbee on the 14th; 2 CLIFF SWALLOWS, 2 BARN SWALLOWS, and a NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW along the Cape May City waterfront on Nov. 15th; a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER at Cape May Point State Park on the 14th and another at the Rea Farm on the 13th; and 11 BROWN PELICANS off Cape May Point on Nov. 12th.

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 CMBOs Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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