Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/18/1997
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 18 include sightings of MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, RED CROSSBILLS, KING EIDER, EURASIAN WIGEON, local nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips, and news of a Pelagic Christmas Bird Count.

Quick note: Alan Brady is trying to get enough people to run a PELAGIC CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT on Friday, December 19th, out of Brielle, NJ, on the boat "The Atlantis." The trip will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the cost would be $50. If interested, call Alan Brady at 215-598-7856.

The MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER continues to be present at the entrance to the Beanery, it was last reported on December 17.

Two WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS and 10 RED CROSSBILLS were seen on Cape May Point on December 18.

A young male KING EIDER was off Stone Harbor Point on December 17, while both KING EIDER and COMMON EIDER were off Cape May Point on the 17th.

A EURASIAN WIGEON, likely the one that disappeared from Cape May Point was in the Coast Guard ponds on December 17.

Other interesting sightings include 5 GLOSSY IBIS and a SEDGE WREN at Turkey point, Cumberland County on December 14, 8 SNOW BUNTINGS & a LAPLAND LONGSPUR over Cape May Point on the 15th, 2 different YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS, one at the State Park and one at the eastern edge of the SCMM on the 16th, VESPER SPARROW at the Beanery on the 16th, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at the Beanery on the 17th, and 8 WILLETS, a MARBLED GODWIT, & a TRICOLORED HERON around Nummy Island on the 17th.

CMBO's fulltime Seawatch at the north end of Avalon, 7th Street and the beach, will officially end on December 22. It has been manned by Bill Seng, Fred Mears, Dave Ward, and on occasion Clay Sutton, and on weekends Gail Dwyer. There have been no recent migrant highlights that we know of, but the Seawatch has been a good spot to see and study OLDSQUAWS. On December 16th over 225 OLDSQUAWS were feeding in the inlet along with numbers of both SURF SCOTERS & BLACK SCOTERS.

Local Nature Notes follow: Our sadness at the absence of butterflies last week was premature, because with this week's warmth a number of scattered sightings occurred. On December 16 3 RED ADMIRALS, 2 QUESTION MARKS, 2 ORANGE SULPHURS, a GREEN DARNER, and a garter snake were all seen along the trails at the Cape May Point State Park. At the CMBO Center for Research & Education in Goshen, an ORANGE SULPHUR was seen. The last PAINTED LADY sighting was December 13th at the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge. Leaves have all fallen and winter has set in. But it is much easier to search for large stick nests built this past spring by Red-tails. It's these sturdy stick nests will be or probably already have been selected by courting Great Horned Owls. Keep track of stick nests you find and monitor them over the next few months, and you may be treated to an intimate encounter with a family of Great Horned Owls. It's an especially good winter for northern finches. Keep an eye out if you have pine trees for crossbills, they'll quietly collect in your pines and feed on the cones with their specially adapted crossed bills. Watch your feeders for Evening Grosbeaks, Purple Finches, Redpolls and Pine Siskins. Be sure to call your sightings in to CMBO.

The Cape May Bird Observatory hosts Saturday morning bird walks through December 27th. Otherwise we're busy preparing for 1998 and filling the calendar with fun programs, workshops, and activities. CMBO's winter program schedule should have reached members by now; interested nonmembers should stop by or call for a copy. Some of our special preregistration Winter programs follow. CMBO will again host a "Kick-off: Start Your Year List" at the new center on January 1st. 6 one-day courses, titled "All About Owls: Workshop & Field Trip," are scheduled for the following dates: Saturday, January 3; Friday, January 16; Saturday, January 17; Friday, January 30; Saturday, January 31; and Wednesday, February 4. A Family Program on Owls will be held January 17th. Our Member's Night on January 21st will feature a program on "Monarchs in Winter, a slide program visit to Mexico" with Pat Sutton. The next Bird Watching for Beginners Course is scheduled for January 24 & 25. Two "Winter Raptors of the Delaware Bayshore" field trips will be offered: February 6 & 7. A program on "Backyard Terrorists at the Feeder" and how to cope with them will be offered by Chris Baker on February 7. And an "Ornithology 101" Course will begin March 3rd, every Tuesday evening for 6 weeks. Two different Sunday morning bird walks will begin in January, one at Cape May Point from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and one at CMBO's new Center in Goshen from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. If you are not a member and would like a copy of the Winter Program Schedule with all the details, stop by either center or call us at 609-861-0700.

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North. The center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature store, and a wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor, featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer, and carvers. CMBO's Northwood Center at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. The CMBO Center in Goshen will be closed December 23 through January 1. The CMBO Northwood Center in Cape May Point will be open DAILY 10-5, except for December 24, 25, and January 1. Starting in January the CMBO Northwood Center will be open every day except Tuesday & Wednesday.

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 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores.

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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