Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/3/1994
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Nov. 3, 1994 include sightings of: Bell's Vireo, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Black-legged Kittiwake, Western Kingbird, continuing Common Eider, Marbled Godwit, and Eurasian Wigeon, migration news, nature notes, and announcements.

A BELL'S VIREO, found on Oct. 30 at Higbee Beach, was seen again today Nov. 3. The bird is seen most frequently in the first field east of the parking lot [the "tower field"]. Today it was along the front [north] edge of that field.

A BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER was seen today, Nov. 3, also at Higbee Beach. As of this tape, it had been seen twice, most recently at 12:30 PM. The bird was in the general vicinity of the parking lot and seemed to be moving around frequently.

A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, first of season, was seen Oct. 29 as it flew by Alexander Ave. jetty, one jetty south of the Concrete Ship. Single WESTERN KINGBIRDS were seen at Higbee Beach on Oct. 30 and Nov. 3; most of the sightings over the past few weeks have been brief, some of them fly-by sightings.

Three COMMON EIDERS are being seen around the Cape May Point jetties south of the Concrete Ship. They are typically in the company of scoters. Up to six MARBLED GODWITS are being seen near Hereford Inlet from the Jersey Cape Nature Excursions back-bay tour boat. And a EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen daily at Bunker Pond in front of the Hawk Watch.

Several lingering songbirds were present this week. The warbler list includes: BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Higbee Beach; and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT along Sea Grove Avenue. BOBOLINKS were heard as they flew over at Higbee and the Hawk Watch, most recently on Nov. 2. Two NORTHERN ORIOLES were present at Higbee Nov. 3, as were SOLITARY VIREO, BLUE GROSBEAK, INDIGO BUNTING, and DICKCISSEL. More typical of the season, one or two CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were at Higbee this week, one of them today, while a SEDGE WREN was present at the Hawk Watch, also today, Nov. 3.

The Hawk Watch this week had a GOLDEN EAGLE Oct. 28; the week's highlight was the flight of today, Nov. 3. 175 NORTHERN HARRIERS were counted, and up to 50 RED-TAILED HAWKS were in view at one time. Two BALD EAGLES were also seen; this brings the BALD EAGLE total to 126 for the season. The evening of Oct. 27 was the last good night for Owl migration; that night, 14 SAW-WHET OWLS were banded, as well as one LONG-EARED OWL and one COMMON BARN OWL.

CMBO's full time sea watch is being conducted from Seventh Ave. at the north end of Avalon. This is the second year, and it is proving to be as exciting as 1993. By the end of October, 319,468 seabirds have been tallied by the watch. Recent highlights include: an unidentified ALCID, RED-NECKED GREBE, and BLACK BRANT on Oct. 31; 4320 BLACK SCOTERS and 8590 dark-winged scoters on Oct. 28; 9826 Surf Scoters on Oct. 29; 1274 N. Gannet on Oct. 24, and 9096 Double-crested Cormorants on Oct. 26. PARASITIC JAEGERS have also been regular, including high counts of 8 on Oct. 25 and 7 on Oct. 30. Come and join the watch; bring your telescope.

Announcements: A "mini-pelagic" trip has been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, 8 AM to Noon. The Cape May Whale Watcher boat in Cape May will be used; cost is $25. The boat will explore nearshore waters including Five-fathom Bank, MacRae's Shoal, and the mouth of the Delaware Bay. For more info or reservations, call Jersey Cape Nature Excursions, (609) 898 9631.

Local nature notes: Butterflies are still flying in small numbers at Cape May. A few MONARCHS are still migrating south. A VARIEGATED FRITILLARY was seen from the Hawk Watch Nov.3. A few CLOUDLESS SULPHURS, scarce this year, turned up this past week. The Butterfly Bushes in Cape May Point Circle turned up a LONG-TAILED SKIPPER Oct. 29 and another garden in the Point had an OCOLA SKIPPER and 7 FIERY SKIPPERS the same day. This fall, LONG-TAILED SKIPPERS and OCOLA SKIPPERS, both southern species, have wandered as far north as Massachusetts, almost unprecedented. On the bird front, huge flights of MYRTLE WARBLERS, AMERICAN ROBINS, CEDAR WAXWINGS and EASTERN BLUEBIRDS are being seen now, and high flocks of SNOW GEESE are going overhead.

[Program notes omitted -LL]

Fine print: 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, phone our office 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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