Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/27/1997
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 27 include sightings of MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, SWAINSON'S HAWK, local nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips, and dates for the three local Christmas Bird Counts.

The MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER continues to be seen at the Beanery. Although not reported since the 26th, it is likely still present.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, the seasons second, was seen at Hidden Valley Ranch on November 26. The bird was last seen flying west away from Hidden Valley.

A SWAINSON'S HAWK passed the hawkwatch on November 24, but did not linger.

Other highlights this week included a "CACKLING" CANADA GOOSE (a pint-sized version of its larger kin) on Lily Lake on November 22, 2 very late BOBOLINKS over the Hawkwatch on the 23rd along with 3 RED CROSSBILLS and an EVENING GROSBEAK, a fly-by ICELAND GULL at Cape May Point on the 24th, a very late ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW at the Avalon Seawatch on the 24th, and on the 25th COMMON REDPOLL and AM. TREE SPARROW at the Hawkwatch and another TREE SPARROW at CMBO on Cape May Point.

The Hawkwatch to date has tallied over 83,000 raptors. In addition to the SWAINSON'S HAWK mentioned earlier, 10 NORTHERN GOSHAWKS were seen on November 25. Its been a good Goshawk flight this year. The hawkwatch will run through November 30.

CMBO's fulltime Seawatch at the north end of Avalon, 7th Street and the beach, is manned this season by Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Dave Ward, and Gail Dwyer on weekends. The RED-THROATED LOON flight continues with 4,700 November 22, and 3,000 on the 20th. RED-NECKED GREBES were seen, on the 23rd and the 25th. COMMON EIDERS passed on the 21st and the 23rd. N. GANNET totaled 2,300 passed on the 22nd. KITTIWAKES were seen on the 21st & 22nd, and 2 on the 26th. A 1st winter LITTLE GULL passed the Seawatch on the 21st and an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on the 22nd. The week's tally for PARASITIC JAEGERS was 14, with 6 seen on the 23rd and 5 on the 22nd.

The Owl Banding Project ended November 20th when Katy Duffy returned to Wyoming. Between October 28th and November 20th the project banded 83 owls, including 61 SAW-WHET, 20 LONG-EARED, and 2 BARN OWLS. Owls will continue to migrate through mid-December if conditions are right -- nights of gentle north or northwest winds following a cold front.

CMBO's Waterfowl Cruise on November 22nd enjoyed OLDSQUAW, RUDDY DUCKS, RED-THROATED LOONS, COMMON LOONS, BUFFLEHEAD, BRANT, RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, HOODED MERGANSERS, and HORNED GREBE in the back bay waters between Cape May and Stone Harbor, and in the marshes and on Nummy's Island over 100 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS and 2 MARBLED GODWITS.

Local Nature Notes follow: Despite icy cold nights, sunny days continue to produce warm edges AND a few butterflies & dragonflies, though sightings, numbers, and diversity are diminishing -- only the hardy few are surviving the freezing spells. On the butterfly front: MONARCH, BUCKEYE, and ORANGE SULPHUR were seen this week. On the dragonfly front: only GREEN DARNER. Virginia Creeper berries and hackberries have been pulling in flocks of robins this week. Persimmon fruits are attracting hungry birds too. Dusk is about 4:45 p.m. these days and a perfect time to scan good edges for Great Horned Owls coming out to begin their day. Jakes Landing is a great place to scan, especially the dead trees near the marsh edge.

The Cape May Bird Observatory's Fall Programs are winding down. November 28th will be the final Sunset Walk at the Meadows. November 30th will be the final Sunday morning bird walk at the new center in Goshen. The Saturday morning Cape May Point bird walks will continue through December 27th. Special upcoming preregistration programs include a "Binoculars & Spotting Scopes Workshop" with Pete Dunne on November 29, a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" on November 29-30, a "Feed the Birds Workshop" on December 6, a "Family Program on the Birds of the Backyard" on December 6, and CMBO's "Bird Seed Sale Day" on December 6th, which does require pre-ordering! Stop by either center to pick up CMBO's program schedule which gives full details on all our programs or call us at 609-861-0700.

Details on upcoming local Christmas Bird Counts follow: The Cape May Count will be held December 21 (contact Vince Elia at 861-0700, x-14; or Louise Zemaitis at 884-2736); the Belleplain Count will be held on December 28 (contact Paul Kosten prior to December 21 at 861-5827; the Cumberland Count will be held January 4 (contact Clay Sutton at 465-3397).

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North. The center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature store, and a wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor, featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer, and carvers. CMBO's Northwood Center at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. Both are open, 10-5. Call to learn of holiday closures.

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 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores.

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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