You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Dec. 16, 1993 include AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, KING EIDER, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, PEREGRINE FALCON, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, RAZORBILL, SNOWY OWL, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, N. PARULA, DICKCISSEL, COMMON REDPOLL, and seabird flights.
The highlight this week was the ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER discovered by one lucky birder at the Beanery on the morning of Dec. 13. Unfortunately it was not seen again.
Three AM. WHITE PELICANS found on Dec. 1 along Ocean Drive, continue to be seen sporadically. They were last seen Dec. 11. To find them, drive east on Ocean Drive from the end of the Parkway and look off in the salt marsh to the north. While in the area check out the shell pile for unusual gulls; an adult LESSER BLACK-BACK was there on Dec. 10. Highlights of the last week of the Seabird Count at Avalon included 9 RAZORBILLS and 4 unidentified ALCIDS on Dec. 11; 850 Snow Geese, an unidentified Jaeger, and a large flight of gull (including 3 KITTIWAKES) on Dec. 12; 619 Bonaparte's Gulls, an immature KING EIDER, another Kittiwake on Dec. 13; and one RAZORBILL, 2 unidentified Alcids, and the 500,000th bird of the count (a Red-breasted Merganser) on Dec. 14. The unofficial final total for the season is 520,502.
A SNOWY OWL was reported by a fisherman, on the Alexander Ave. jetty on Cape May Point on Dec. 10. Unfortunately the word did not make it to CMBO until Dec. 12 and the bird has not been seen again. Three BLACK VULTURES were seen from the Beanery Dec. 10, and a PEREGRINE was seen chasing a N. GOSHAWK at the state park on the morning of Dec. 16. Five SNOW BUNTINGS were on the beach at Wildwood Crest on Dec. 9, and COM. REDPOLLS continue to be seen in small numbers south of the Canal; 6 were at Higbee on Dec. 14.
A Green Heron continues to linger on Bunker Pond, being seen as recently as Dec. 12. Other lingering birds include one Tricolored and 6 Little Blue Herons in Wildwood Dec. 11; a Com. Moorhen Dec. 14 in the South Cape May Meadows; a Whimbrel on Nummy Island Dec. 10; 32 Forster's Terns at Second Ave., Cape May, on Dec. 14; four Tree Swallows along Ocean Drive Dec. 9; a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Cape May Dec. 12; 6 Am. Pipits and a N. Parula at the Beanery Dec. 14; a Dickcissel at a feeder in Cape May Point Dec. 9 - 11; a Chipping Sparrow Dec. 14 at Hidden Valley; and a N. Oriole at a residence in Seaville Dec. 11. We hope some of these will linger for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count.
CBC dates and contacts: Oceanville (Brigantine), Dec. 18, contact Ed Bristow at (609) 641-4671. Belleplain, Dec. 19, contact Paul Kosten (609) 861-5827. Cape May, Dec. 26, contact Keith Seager, (609) 884-8778. Cumberland County, Jan. 1, contact Clay Sutton, (609) 465-3397; Marmora, Jan. 2, contact Ed Bristow as above.
Note that Hunting Season opened at Higbee Beach wildlife management area this week; for safety's sake go to Hidden Valley, which is closed to hunting and is just as birdy.
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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, phone our office 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 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. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.