Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/28/1996
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 28 include sightings of SELASPHORUS HUMMINGBIRD, SNOWY OWL, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, news of CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch and our Avalon Seawatch, local nature notes, an announcement about an upcoming Pelagic Trip, news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips, local Christmas Bird Count dates and contacts.

An immature female SELASPHORUS HUMMINGBIRD (either Rufous or Allen's) was present at a hummingbird feeder in Wildwood Crest on November 23rd and 24th.

Three SNOWY OWLS were in seen in Delaware before the first one showed up in South Jersey. On November 24th a male SNOWY OWL was seen one day only in Margate. It was perched on a telephone pole about 1/2 mile past Campbell's Marina.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continues to be seen in West Cape May. It was seen this week on the 27th on the 600 block of West Ave.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen twice this week in the Cape May Point State Park. On November 24th one was seen on the Red trail and on the 26th one was near the raised picnic pavilion.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was near the fish docks along Ocean Drive on November 27th.

In Delaware, the ROSS' GULL continues to be seen at Indian River Inlet. The most recent report was on November 27th.

On November 25th, Brigantine had ROSS' GOOSE and EURASIAN WIGEON. Two EURASIAN WIGEON continue on the ponds along the Red trail in the State Park.

CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch has tallied in 69,217 raptors so far, as of November 27th ... and there's still a few days to go! An excellent flight on November 23 produced a real late OSPREY, 5 BALD EAGLES, 101 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 13 COOPER'S HAWKS, 1 NORTHERN GOSHAWK, 7 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, 178 RED-TAILED HAWK, and 1 GOLDEN EAGLE. A few PEREGRINE FALCONS are still coming through, with the grand tally to date an astounding 1,500 Peregrines. Bald and Golden Eagle grand totals to date are also records: 279 Bald Eagles and 38 Golden Eagles.

The Avalon Seawatch, being conducted at 7th Street and the Beach at the North end of Avalon, is in the middle of the Seabird Migration and will continue into December. Highlights from the past week include amazing numbers of BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES: 55 on the 18th, 57 on the 19th, 9 on the 21st, and 40 on the 26th. 6 COMMON EIDERS migrated by on both the 20th and the 24th. PARASITIC JAEGERS seen this week include 3 on the 19th, 4 on the 21st, 1 on the 22nd, and 4 on the 26th. RED-NECKED GREBES passed: 1 on the 20th and 2 on the 24th. 2 LITTLE GULLS and a BLACK-HEADED GULL passed on November 26.

A COMMON EIDER was in Cape May Point off the Cape Avenue jetty on November 24. An immature male King Eider and 3 COMMON EIDERS were seen at Stone Harbor Point around the southernmost jetty on November 19th and 23rd. On November 22 and 23 3-4 Jaegers, 100's of BONAPARTE'S GULLS, and dozens of BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were seen from boat by an observer in the Cape May Rips, just off Cape May Point. And on the 26th observers at The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge looking offshore saw 10 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, 500 BONAPARTE'S GULLS, and a "2nd winter" LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL.

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: Would you believe that a few Monarchs are still being seen! It was an amazing fall for Monarchs and, YES, a few stragglers are still migrating through -- which means they survived some pretty severe frosts already. Most recently, 3 were seen on the 24th and 1 on the 25th. 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.Most of the leaves have been blown from the trees and it's a good time to search for large stick nests that Great Horned Owls might use for their nests in a little over one month, they being our earliest nesting bird - one eggs by January.

Some of CMBO's upcoming programs follow: On Wednesday, December 11th, at 7:30 p.m. Paul Kerlinger will present a program on the same topic as his latest book, "How Birds Migrate." This is one of our Members' Nights, ALL OUR WELCOME! Every Saturday (through December) Tom Parsons will lead a "Birding Cape May Point" walk at 7:30 a.m., meeting in the raised picnic pavilion at Cape May Point State Park. The Cape May Bird Observatory's winter program schedule is now in print and being sent to members. Non-members should give us a call if they'd like to receive a copy. Weekly "Owl & Hawk Watches at Jakes Landing" will be held every Friday January>3 through March 14th at 4:00 p.m. Weekly "Winter Bird Walks" will be held every Sunday January through March at 8:30 a.m., meeting in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park.

A Week long Birding Workshop for Hawks, Owls, and Winter Waterfowl will be led and taught January 6-10th by Pat and Clay Sutton and Pete Dunne. There's still room; call for the wee long workshop flyer and registration form. A special Members' Night will be held January 15th at the NEW CMBO in Goshen, with "a Birthday Party for New Jersey Audubon Society in its 100th Year!" scheduled for 7:30-9 p.m. Six "Owl Workshops" are scheduled: January 18, 25, February 1, 5, and 15. The "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" will be taught January 25-26, February 22-23, and March 29-30. A "Winter Raptors of Bear Swamp and the Delaware Bayshore" is scheduled for February 8, AND MUCH MORE!

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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