Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/5/1998
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 5 include reports of HARRIS' SPARROW, HENSLOW'S SPARROW, CAVE SWALLOW, MISSISSIPPI KITE, SWAINSON'S HAWK, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A HARRIS' SPARROW was on Cape May Point on November 3 and 4. It was first located feeding on seed at 603 Pearl St. on the 3rd and moved around the corner for the rest of the day. On the 4th it was back in the yard on Pearl St. It was not seen there on November 5, however.

A HENSLOW'S SPARROW was seen on November 1 at Hidden Valley Ranch, but efforts to relocate the bird on the 2nd failed.

A CAVE SWALLOW was a fly-by at the hawk watch platform in the Cape May Point State Park on November 4th.

An incredibly late MISSISSIPPI KITE was over the hawk watch on October 30 and returned on the 31st. It has not been seen since.

Three SWAINSON'S HAWKS were counted at the hawk watch on November 1, and one (an immature dark morph) continues to be seen, appearing at the hawk watch on November 4.

Passerine migration this week included the following highlights: on November 2 TWO ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS and a VESPER SPARROW were at Hidden Valley Ranch, two BLUE-HEADED VIREOS and a PRAIRIE WARBLER were at the Beanery, and a CLIFF SWALLOW was over Cape May Point; Sedge Wren was in the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on November 3; on November 4 a BLACKPOLL WARBLER was at SCMM, with NORTHERN PARULA and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Hidden Valley Ranch; YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was at Higbee Beach on the 4th and 5th; also on the 5TH NORTHERN PARULA, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW were in West Cape May.

The hawk watch has featured good flights of Buteos this week, with lots OF RED-TAILED and RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS evident. GOLDEN EAGLES were seen on October 30, 31 and November 1. ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were seen on the 31 of October and on November 1.

Here are some totals from the Avalon Sea Watch as of November 1; over 240,000 SCOTERS (BLACK SCOTER and SURF SCOTER combined), over 150,000 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, 18,000 NORTHERN GANNETS, almost 3,500 COMMON LOONS, and 76 PARASITIC JAEGERS. Most of the RED-THROATED LOONS are yet to come, but 1,700 have already been counted. Nearly 475,000 birds in total have been counted. This years counters are Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Scott Barnes.

Local nature Notes follow: This year's monarch project tagged an astounding 7,500+ monarchs this season. There have been five recoveries already from Virginia. Butterfly activity has decreased markedly, although Buckeyes, Variegated Fritillaries, Clouded and Orange Sulphurs, and a few other species are still being seen. The fruit and acorn crops are excellent this year, to the delight of migrant birds. Virginia creeper, porcelain berry, grapes, poke berry, and green-briar are all loaded with fruit. Sweet Gum trees have heavy crops of fruit also, the seeds of which are fed on by finches.

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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