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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/9/1995
Hotline Cooperative mailing list, PROVIDED THAT no changes are made, credit is given and headers are included. Queries and comments to CMBO, please, not to transcriber. You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending Nov. 9, 1995 include sightings of CAVE SWALLOW, SWAINSON'S HAWK, BLACK-HEADED GULL, SEDGE WREN, KING EIDER, Hawkwatch and Seawatch news, and nature notes.

A CAVE SWALLOW was seen from the Hawkwatch platform on Nov. 6; there have been no repeat sightings. An adult light-morph SWAINSON'S HAWK was discovered on Nov. 8 at Cape May Point; it was seen on and off all day today, Nov. 9. An immature light-morph SWAINSON'S HAWK was present Nov. 3-4 at various sites around the point. A first-winter BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen as a fly-by at Stone Harbor Point on Nov. 3. A SEDGE WREN was seen in the South Cape May Meadows on Nov. 7. A KING EIDER flew by at the Seawatch at Avalon on Nov. 6.

An incredible flight of AMERICAN ROBINS was seen on Nov. 4-5 after the passage of a strong cold front; literally hundreds of thousands of Robins were seen. Also after the front, 3 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS and up to 6 VESPER SPARROWS were seen at Higbee Beach; the Grasshoppers were still there today, Nov. 9. VESPER SPARROWS were also seen this week at Hidden Valley Ranch; two were there today. Other sparrow highlights included a NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW (the inland race); a LINCOLN'S SPARROW and a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, all at Higbee Beach Nov. 5.

Several DICKCISSELS were seen this week, one at Higbee Beach Nov. 4-5, one at Cape May Point Nov. 6, one at South Cape May Meadows on Nov. 7, and one on Sunset Blvd. at a feeder on Nov. 9. A late WILSON'S WARBLER was at S. Cape May Meadows Nov. 3; and a late BOBOLINK was at Hidden Valley on Nov. 9.

We are in the third month of the CMBO Hawkwatch, staffed this year by Andre Robinson; Jerry Ligouri and Ulf Koenig are our education interns. This week's cold fronts were excellent on Nov. 4-5, with 1300 and 1600 birds respectively. Highlights included: 7 BALD EAGLES & 1 GOLDEN EAGLE Nov. 4; 4 BALD & 4 GOLDEN Nov. 6; and 2 BALD & 2 GOLDEN Nov. 8. Already mentioned were the 2 SWAINSON'S HAWKS this week. Two to four NORTHERN GOSHAWKS have been seen daily since Nov. 3; and a sprinkling of falcons is still being seen.

The CMBO Seawatch at the north end of Avalon is staffed by Dave Ward, Clay Sutton, Mike O'Brien, Fred Mears. Again, mind-boggling flights of SCOTERS, sea ducks and cormorants passed this week. Thousands of NORTHERN GANNETS are passing daily now. Some highlights: 2 RED-NECKED GREBE and a KING EIDER Nov. 6; an a major COMMON LOON movement Nov. 8.

Owl watchers continue to enjoy good weather and flights. Watchers at the South Cape May Meadows during the last half-hour of dusk saw 5-6 large owls (LONG-EARED or SHORT-EARED OWLS) Nov. 5 and 13 on Nov. 6, along with 4 AMERICAN BITTERNS. Later, countless songbirds could be seen passing in front of the full moon, a calling BARN OWL flew over, and a SAW-WHET OWL called twice. A roosting SAW-WHET OWL was found in the dunes near Town Bank Nov. 5. A SHORT-EARED OWL was seen at dawn Nov. 6 over Cape May Point; the same day, the Seawatch picked up two Short-ears offshore. The Owl banding project banded 7 owls Nov. 4, and 18 Nov. 5.

Local nature notes: The first TUNDRA SWANS passed over Nov. 4, steady since. Cold fronts triggered a major movement of AM. WOODCOCK, with dozens in the woods Nov. 4. Nov. 9 one Woodcock spent the day in CMBO's garden. Many BLUEBIRDS are moving. A few MONARCHS and on Nov. 5 two RED ADMIRALS were the only butterflies reported. The warm weather Nov. 2 triggered an influx of GREEN DARNER dragonflies into Cumberland County, with hundreds of individuals; they never were seen in Cape May County, however.

[program information deleted--LL] 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 a send a request for info 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 9-5 every day but Monday.

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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