Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/4/1999
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 4 include reports of a CAVE SWALLOW invasion, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, WESTERN KINGBIRD, an influx of RED CROSSBILLS, local nature notes, news of an upcoming pelagic trip, and news of CMBO.

At least 20 CAVE SWALLOWS were seen at various sites around Cape May Point on November 3 and 4. It is very possible that the number of birds present is higher, but assessing the total number is problematic.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was found along Bayshore Road across from the Beanery on November 3 and was still present until at least noon on November 4.

A sizable flight of RED CROSSBILLS is under way. About 70-75 were around Cape May Point on November 3 and at least 20 were around the Point on November 4.

A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was a seen as it flew by the Cape May Hawk Watch on November 4.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was present on Cape May Point on October 29, and the same or another was at Hidden Valley Ranch on October 30-31.

Up to six MARBLED GODWITS continue on the flats at Stone Harbor Point.

A EURASIAN WIGEON, presumably the same bird, was seen at the Coast Guard ponds on November 1, and in one of the ponds at the Beanery on November 3.

Some other highlights this week included: 400+ FORSTER'S TERNS off Cape May Point on October 30, ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW at the Cape May Point State Park (CMPSP) on October 31, WILSON'S WARBLER at CMPSP on November 1, four VESPER SPARROWS at Hidden Valley Ranch on the 1st, six LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS and 200 GREATER YELLOWLEGS at the Coast Guard ponds on the 1st, PINE WARBLER in Villas on the 1st, single "IPSWICH" SAVANNAH SPARROWS at both Two Mile Landing and Stone Harbor Point on the 1st, SPOTTED SANDPIPER at the Beanery until the 1st, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE off Cape May Point on the 2nd, WHIMBREL at Nummy Island on the 2nd, COMMON EIDER at the Concrete Ship on the 2nd, and at the Beanery on the 4th were GREEN HERON and PRAIRIE WARBLER. Three BLACKPOLL WARBLERS and a BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued at the Bayshore tract through the period. Higbee Beach had a continuing CAPE MAY WARBLER and an INDIGO BUNTING on November 4.

At the Cape May Hawk Watch raptor numbers have been fairly low, although NORTHERN GOSHAWKS were daily through the end of October. A GOLDEN EAGLE was seen on November 1. The next two weeks should bring the peak of the buteo flight, and hopefully more GOLDEN EAGLES and GOSHAWKS.

CMBO's Avalon Seawatch officially began on September 22nd. The Avalon Seawatch is at 7th street and the beach at the north end of Avalon. The Sea Watch is in the middle of the SCOTER peak for the season. Late October and early November is also the peak season for PARASITIC JAEGERS. As November unfolds, NORTHERN GANNETS and RED-THROATED LOONS will both reach their peak.

Local Nature Notes: This season's MONARCH flight was one of, if not the best, ever. Between September 22 and the end of October, Chris Wood, the Sea Bird counter, tallied about 80,000 Monarchs moving south along the coast, and that's just on the barrier island side. Over 5,000 Monarchs were tagged.

Focus on Nature Tours is organizing a pelagic trip out of Cape May on Sunday November 21 aboard the Morning Star. The trip runs from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $95. For more info call 1-800-362-0869, or email font@focusonnature.com.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks, requiring no preregistration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

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 hotline. For more information call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Don't hesitate to visit our two centers of activity. CMBO's Center for Research & Education is located at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen. CMBO's Northwood Center is located at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Both centers feature gardens, feeding stations, nature & book stores, and birding information. The Center in Goshen also has a wildlife art gallery, featuring artists, photographer, and carvers. Each Center is OPEN DAILY 10-5.

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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