Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/14/1995
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 Dec. 14, 1995 include sightings of SANDHILL CRANE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, RED-NECKED GREBE, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, LITTLE GULL, Seawatch summary, announcements and local nature notes.

Two adult SANDHILL CRANES, first seen Dec. 8 flying over Higbee Beach, were seen again Dec. 10 over the Beanery. Later that day they settled into a cornfield on Bayshore Rd. just south of New England Rd., and have been there daily since, including today, Dec. 14.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen at Thompson's Beach, on the Delaware Bay shore, on Dec. 12. Three RED-NECKED GREBES were seen from the Cape May/Lewes Ferry on Dec. 7.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was a fly by at the Cape May Meadows beachfront on Dec. 11; the Seawatch had a fly by ICELAND GULL on Dec. 8, and two flyby LITTLE GULLS Dec. 9.

A belated report was received of a probable FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER in West Cape May on Dec. 2.

Two EVENING GROSBEAKS made a brief visit to a feeder in The Villas on Dec. 10.

The CMBO Seawatch at the north end of Avalon is staffed by Dave Ward, Clay Sutton, Mike O'Brien, Fred Mears. The grand total as of Dec. 11 was 961,765 birds - one million is not impossible. Some highlights this week: four LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS on Dec. 10; two KING EIDERS on Dec. 5; COMMON EIDERS Dec. 7 and 9, including an adult male and two female-types on Dec. 9; two RAZORBILLS and 5 unidentified Alcids Dec. 6, and another unidentified Alcid Dec. 9. Movements of Double-crested Cormorants have dropped way off. The freeze-up triggered a major movement of SNOW GEESE out of the area on Dec. 10-11. Seven CANVASBACKS were flyby's on Dec. 11.

This fall, Katy Duffy banded an amazing 637 SAW-WHET OWLS at Cape May Point. Since then, observers have found 31 road-killed Saw-whets in South Jersey, four with Katy's bands. This week, we can report that 16 of the owls banded this year in Cape May have been recaptured further south. Eleven were re-trapped at Kiptopeke in Virginia; five were at Assateague in Maryland. Each of these stations also caught owls banded here in earlier years, including one from 1994 and 2 from 1993 at Kiptopeke.

Local nature notes: By Dec. 10, the sea watch documented the movement of waterfowl due to the freeze, with 2500 SNOW GEESE that day, and 6000 Dec. 11. Lily Lake and the Park ponds were frozen, and Delaware Bay had floating ice. A Harbor Seal was seen off Cape May Point on Dec. 13, and there have been fresh Otter droppings on the State Park boardwalks. CMBO's feeders are pulling in both RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES.

South Jersey Christmas Bird Counts: Oceanville, Dec. 16, call Ed Bristow, (609) 641-4671. Belleplain, Dec. 17, call Paul Kosten at (609) 861-5827. Marmora, Sunday Dec. 17, Ed Bristow, (609) 641-4671. Cape May, Dec. 31, call Louise Zemaitis or Vince Elia at (609) 884-2736 (CMBO). Cumberland County, Jan. 1, Clay Sutton, (609) 465-3397.

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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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