Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/10/1998
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 December 10 include reports of BLACK-TAILED GULL, FRANKLIN'S GULL, RAZORBILL, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

The BLACK-TAILED GULL was seen again on Thursday December 10. It was seen first on the beach at 2nd Avenue jetty, again on the beach further east in Cape May city, and eventually feeding off Poverty Beach at the east end of town.

A FRANKLIN'S GULL was off the Cape May Point State Park near the Bunker on December 8.

A RAZORBILL was off 2nd Avenue jetty for a short time on December 8.

There has been an enormous concentration of gulls feeding off of Cape May and Cape May Point all week, with the largest concentration seen on December 10. Thousands of large gulls, several thousand BONAPARTE'S GULLS, and about 3,000 LAUGHING GULLS make up the bulk of the flock. However, at times this week, between Wildwood Crest and Cape May Point, there have been 10+ PARASITIC JAEGERS, three BLACK-HEADED GULLS, two LITTLE GULLS, five LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, and an ICELAND GULL.

Other highlights included: SEMIPALMATED PLOVER on Bunker Pond on December 4, five LITTLE BLUE HERONS along Ocean Drive on the 5th, BALTIMORE ORIOLE in the State Park on the 6th, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER in the State Park on the 6th, NASHVILLE WARBLER at the State Park and another at the Beanery on the 7th, 250 TREE SWALLOWS over South Cape May on the 9th, and 78 SNOW BUNTINGS were first at Poverty Beach and then seen flying along the dunes at South Cape May.

A number of ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS have set up winter residence on the cape. Up to four are in the State Park, one at South Cape May, and one at the Beanery.

Nature Notes: CMBO's monarch tagging project tagged over 7,500 monarchs in 1998. Several returns have come back. Here is a recap. Five were found near Kiptopeke, VA in mid-October. On October 26, one was found in Charleston, SC (originally tagged on October 15), and one on October 29, one was found in Panama City, FL that had been tagged a month before. The most recent find was one tagged here on October 13 and found in Sullivan's Island, SC on November 9. The warm weather continues to result in late butterfly sightings. Seen this week were over 15 Cloudless sulphurs, 10+ Buckeyes, several Sachems, American Lady, Monarch, and Clouded and Orange Sulphurs.

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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