Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/12/2002
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, December 12, 2002. Highlights from the last week include PAINTED BUNTING, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, HARLEQUIN DUCK, GLAUCOUS GULL, EURASIAN WIGEON, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, and WESTERN KINGBIRD.

A female or young male PAINTED BUNTING was found on Dec. 8th at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area and has continued through Dec. 12th. From the parking area, follow the right hand trail into the fields. The bird was first found in the third field back, but in recent days it has been seen in the second field. It usually stays low to the ground, eating seeds, and stays right at the edge between the field and surrounding woods.

A LONG-BILLED CURLEW continues to be seen in the marshes behind North Wildwood. It has been seen almost every day since Dec. 2, most recently this morning, Dec. 12th, from vantage points at the west end of 26th, 19th, 17th, and 14th Streets in North Wildwood. The bird is usually seen at lower tides.

An adult male HARLEQUIN DUCK and two COMMON EIDERS were discovered off the east end of 3rd Ave. in North Wildwood on Dec. 12th. The EIDERS were also seen here on the 8th.

A second-winter GLAUCOUS GULL and an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were seen at the Avalon Seawatch on December 9th.

A drake EURASIAN WIGEON was found on Dec. 12th at Davy's Lake in the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD has been seen at the Rea Farm from Nov. 28th through at least Dec. 12th. The bird frequents the north edge of the southernmost field (one that borders Stevens St.) at the farm, but occasionally is seen at other locations.

The WHITE-WINGED DOVE along Bayshore Road has not been seen since Dec. 5th.

From up the Delaware Bay shore come reports of 5 SHORT-EARED OWLS and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK among the birds sighted at Jakes Landing on Dec. 8th, and a LARK SPARROW and two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS at Bivalve, also on Dec. 8th.

An adult male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD continues to be seen along Seagrove Ave., just east of Cape May Point. The bird is still present as of Dec. 12th. FOX SPARROWS are currently abundant around Cape May; at least 9 are frequenting the feeders at the CMBO Northwood Center, and 15 were counted along the trails at Cape May Point State Park on Dec. 12th. Dozens of TREE SWALLOWS are still being seen around Cape May Point and the South Cape May Meadows. Two late OSPREY were reported this week one at Sunset Beach on Dec. 9th and one around milepost 28 on the Garden State Parkway on the 8th. Other noteworthy birds reported during the last week include NASHVILLE WARBLER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, PALM WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, PRAIRIE WARBLER, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.

The Cape May Christmas Bird Count will be held on Sunday, Dec. 15th. The Belleplain Count will be Sunday, Dec. 22nd, and the Cumberland County Count will be Sunday, Dec. 29th. Contact either CMBO Center for information on participating in any of these south Jersey counts.

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://cmbo.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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