Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/25/1992
You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Nov. 25 include: REDHEAD, EURASIAN WIGEON, HARLEQUIN DUCK, COMMON EIDER, LITTLE GULL, KITTIWAKE, BREWER'S BLACKBIRD, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, SNOWY OWL, BALD EAGLE, GOSHAWK, an announcement about the Christmas Bird Counts, and another announcement about an upcoming pelagic birding trip Dec. 5; local nature notes, and news of upcoming programs. An early REDHEAD, a female, was discovered on Lighthouse Pond West, in the Cape May Point State Park, on Nov. 21, along with a female RING-NECKED DUCK. It was seen as recently as Nov. 25. A female EURASIAN WIGEON was also in Lighthouse Pond West along with over 200 AMERICAN WIGEON on Nov. 22. A male and a female HARLEQUIN DUCK frequented the Coast Guard jetties between Nov. 21 and 24, and may still be around. An immature female COMMON EIDER was seen Nov. 18, 19 and 20 in the vicinity of Second Ave. jetty or a few blocks to the east in Cape May. The seabird watch at the Eighth St. jetty in Avalon reports hundreds of NORTHERN GANNETS and LOONS migrating by daily now. The morning of Nov. 25th, between 7 and 8 am, about 450 GANNETS passed by, a typical morning flight right now. On Nov. 21, an adult LITTLE GULL was seen from there, feeding in Townsend's Inlet to the north, in with a flock of BONAPARTE'S GULLS. It has not been seen since. And on Nov. 24, an adult KITTIWAKE flew by the Avalon watch heading south. A BREWER'S BLACKBIRD was seen at Hidden Valley Nov. 23. Hidden Valley can now be birded via access from the new parking lot on the south side of New England Rd. before you reach the Higbee's Beach parking lot. A LINCOLN'S SPARROW was seen at Higbee's Beach on Nov. 20. A SNOWY OWL report was called into this office, after a brief sighting the morning of Nov. 20; the bird was seen perched on a rooftop along Ocean Drive in Ocean City, but it could be anywhere now. Jorge Montejo Diaz, CMBO's offical hawkwatcher, logged in the 86th BALD EAGLE of the season this week, quite a record, with the previous high total for Cape May in fall being 61. Goshawks have also been seen this week, one on the 21st and one on the 24th. Otherwise the warm springlike weather was not conducive to hawk migration. Christmas Bird Count time is here; over 1500 counts will be conducted during the several weeks around Christmas, organized by the National Audubon Society. Dates for upcoming counts, and who to contact if you're interested in participating, are as follows. Oceanville count, Sat. Dec 19, contact Ed Bristow, 609 641-4671. Cape May count, Sun. Dec. 20, contact Keith Seager, 609 884-8778. Belleplain count, Sun. Dec. 27, contact Paul Coskins, 609 861-5827. Cumberland count, Fri. Jan 1, 1993, contact Clay Sutton 609 465-3397. Marmora count, Sun. Jan 3, contact Ed Bristow, 609 641-4671. On Saturday, Dec. 5, an inshore pelagic trip will travel to Five Fathom Bank, 12 miles off Cape May. It will be run by Capt. Ron Robbins on his boat "Holiday". The trip runs from 8 AM to 1 PM, and your place can be secured by contributing $25 per person to CMBO with a note that it is for this trip. Be at the dock no later than 7:45 AM. Space is limited; the boat is a little over half-full. Send a check to CMBO to hold your place. For more details call CMBO at 609 884-2736. Local nature notes: With the unseasonably warm weather, 8 species of butterflies have been reported this week, including Comma, Monarch, Cloudless Sulfur, Red Admiral, Buckeye, the two other Sulfurs, and Cabbage. Quite a few Green Darner Dragonflies are still being seen. Thousands of Brant are now in the bay areas behind the barrier islands, wheeling over the marshes. Bird feeders are attracting large numbers of Bluejays, Cardinals, Chickadees, etc. Remember that the weedy stalks in your garden also provide food for these birds; rather than tidy up, let them act as natural feeders. [Program announcements omitted. -LL] Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and conservation unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, phone our office at 609-884-2736 or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. 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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