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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/7/1992
You have reached the Cape May birding hotline. This hotline has been updated from the Nov. 5 hotline to include sightings current to Nov. 7. Highlights of the week ending Nov. 7 include: VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, CAVE SWALLOWS, ANHINGA, BEWICK'S WREN, WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, LITTLE GULL, RED-NECKED GREBE, COMMON MURRE, KING EIDER, COMMON EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, PARASITIC and POMARINE JAEGERS, MARBLED GODWIT, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, SNOW BUNTING, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, WESTERN KINGBIRD, HUMMINGBIRD (sp)., VESPER SPARROW, DICKCISSEL, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, NASHVILLE WARBLER, BLACK VULTURE, GOSHAWK, COMMON TERN, local nature notes and news of upcoming programs.

On Nov. 7, not one but 4 CAVE SWALLOWS and one VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW were seen well by numerous observers in with a flock of Tree Swallows, over Bunker Pond in the Cape May Point State Park. This is only the second state record for Cave Swallow (last was a lone bird in April and May of 1991), and it is a first state record for Violet-green Swallow, and one of very few records in the East. The birds were seen at the end of the day on Nov. 7, so could very well be seen again on the 8th. [Transcriber's update: the Violet-green Swallow and at least two Cave Swallows were seen again this morning at both the original site and at the Cape May Meadows on Sunset Blvd. in Cape May.]

[The remainder of the tape is identical to that posted Nov. 5.] It has been a great week for seabird watching, wet and windy. On the north end of Avalon, where the beachfront juts out furthest into the ocean and brings you a bit closer to southbound shorebirds, some good sightings have been enjoyed. A WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was a lone flyover on Oct. 27, passing south after a good movement of Snow Geese. On Oct. 28, an adult LITTLE GULL and a RED-NECKED GREBE were seen as flybys. On Nov. 2 a COMMON MURRE passed by with a flock of Scoters, and 4 Eiders also passed by. Two were COMMON EIDERS and two were unidentified to species.

On Nov. 4, 28 Red Knots flew by past Avalon, and 7 Black Skimmers were on the beach. Also on Nov. 4, a female HARLEQUIN was seen in the inlet north of Avalon; the bird was near channel marker no. 373?, the red marker near the west side of the bridge. For several years now, a Willet has passed the winter on the beachfront in Avalon; the bird has returned now, and can be found daily; this is a rare bird past the middle of November in South Jersey.

From the Avalon 8th Street jetty, JAEGERS have been seen almost daily, normally one or two, and usually in the afternoon. On Nov. 3, 4 PARASITIC JAEGERS were enjoyed. JAEGERS are being seen from other coastal locations as well. On Oct. 31 3 PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen from North Wildwood, and 3 were also seen from Cape May Point. Nov. 1, one POMARINE and 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen, and the Nov. 4 flight included 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS. Cape May Point's Nov. 1 flight also included 8 Oldsquaw, Bufflehead, Great Blue Herons, Green-winged teal, and Redthroated Loons and N. Gannets. Three COMMON EIDER were seen at Cape May Point on Nov. 3, and an ad. female KING EIDER and a COM. EIDER on Nov. 4.

A MARBLED GODWIT was on Champagne Island on Nov. 2; this is the sand bar in the inlet south of Stone Harbor Point. A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was at the Cape May Coast Guard base jetty on Oct. 28. CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen at Lily Lake in Cape May Point on Oct. 28, and a SNOW BUNTING was seen on Ocean Drive just north of Cape May, near the tollbooth, on Oct. 30. On Nov. 4, 2 SNOW BUNTINGS were seen on the Cape May Promenade near Philadelphia Ave.

The Hidden Valley area and Higbee's Beach held a LINCOLN'S SPARROW and 2 WESTERN KINGBIRDS Oct. 31. One WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen Nov. 2 and again Nov. 4 near the Hidden Valley parking lot, in the first hedgerow. This site also held a VESPER SPARROW on Nov. 4. DICKCISSEL reports this week include 2 at Cape May Point on Nov. 3; 2 on the 4th, and one on Weatherby Rd. in NW Cape May County on Oct. 30. On Nov. 3 an adult male "Baltimore" Oriole and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER were seen at Cape May Point. Also on the 3d a NASHVILLE WARBLER and a HUMMINGBIRD sp., maybe a Ruby-throated, was seen at Hidden Valley. Any Hummingbird this late could possibly be something other than a Ruby-throated. On Nov. 4th, a BLACKPOLL WARBLER was found in Cape May Point.

The Woodbine vulture roost is again 150 birds strong, including 40 BLACK VULTURES. On Nov. 2, they were found roosting on the water tower in Woodbine, and in the woods to the north of the tower along Rt. 557. BROWN PELICAN reports are down but two were seen Nov. 5 in Cape May Point. Most lingering Terns now are Forster's and Royal, but on Nov. 3 two Common and one Caspian Tern were seen at Cape May Point. Twelve GOSHAWKS migrated through Cape May Point in October. This week, one was seen on Oct. 29, 2 on Oct. 30, and 1 on Nov. 1. A GOSHAWK was seen at Hidden Valley on Nov. 3. Twenty-three BALD EAGLES migrated through Cape May in Oct., and two more passed on Nov. 3.

Upcoming programs: On Nov. 14, CMBO will offer a Gull identification workshop and walk from 9 AM to noon with Gull-meister Vince Elia. Pre-registration is required. Other activities include seabird field trips on Sunday Nov. 8 and 15, meeting at Second Ave. jetty; nightwatch outings, Saturday Nov. 7 and 14, at 4:30 pm, meeting in the South Cape May Meadows parking lot; a Birdwatching for Beginners two-day course on Nov. 21-22 (and every month thereafter); and an assortment of other walks and workshops. Call or write for the complete schedule.

Local nature notes follow. Despite November being upon us, we are still enjoying an assortment of butterflies and dragonflies. On Nov. 3, a Giant Cloudless Sulfur, a Monarch, and Cabbage Butterflies were seen, along with one ---? Darner, ten Green Darners, and 2 Black-mantled Gliders. Persimmons are ripe and ready for the picking; many mammals are enjoying them now as they fall to the ground. The leaves have turned orange, yellow and red, and will be enjoyed a short time longer before the next cold front blows them all away.

[Program announcements omitted. -LL]

Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and conservation unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, phone our office at 609-884-2736 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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