Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/18/2003
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 18, 2003. Highlights from the last week include ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD, DOVEKIE, RAZORBILL, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, COMMON EIDER, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, and notes on lingering birds.

The young male ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD continues to visit the feeder in front of 1321-B Ohio Ave. in Cape May, our most recent report being Dec. 18th (today). The feeder can be easily seen from the sidewalk in front of the house.

A DOVEKIE was seen from Cape May Point on Dec. 14th. 4 DOVEKIES and 3 RAZORBILLS were reported the same day from the Avalon Seawatch.

The LONG-BILLED CURLEW continues to be seen from the south end of Nummy Island (near the toll bridge) at low tide, and at Stone Harbor Point at high tide. Our most recent report of this bird is from Dec. 14th. Stone Harbor Point also harbored LAPLAND LONGSPUR and COMMON REDPOLL on the 14th, along with a very late PIPING PLOVER and 160 RED KNOTS. A COMMON EIDER was seen offshore from Cape May Point on Dec. 14th.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continues to frequent the third field at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, seen most recently Dec. 16th. A LINCOLN'S SPARROW was at the Hidden Valley parking area (along New England Rd.) on the 16th.

Noteworthy lingering birds around Cape May include BALTIMORE ORIOLE at Cape May Point State Park Dec. 12th and again on the 18th, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at the Park on the 17th, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD splitting time between 2 different yards along Bayshore Rd. through at least the 14th, 2 REDHEADS on Lily Lake through at least the 16th, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW at The Nature Conservancy's Cape Island Creek Preserve on the 14th, 4 MARBLED GODWITS around Stone Harbor Point through at least the 14th, 2 HOUSE WRENS and 3 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS in the Green Creek area through the 14th, and a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER in Rio Grande on the 13th.

Please note that the "free bridge" connecting Nummy Island to south Stone Harbor is now closed until further notice at least until spring 2004 for construction. Nummy can still be accessed from North Wildwood Blvd. drive past the "road closed local traffic only" sign and over the bridge). Note also that the deer hunting season is underway in New Jersey use caution in areas where hunting is permitted!

Amidst the chilly rain and wind last Sunday, Cape May's intrepid birders tallied at least 154 species on the Cape May Christmas Bird Count. 2 more Christmas Bird Counts are coming up. The Belleplain CBC will be held on Sunday, December 21; contact Paul Kosten at 609-861-5827. Cumberland County's CBC is set for Sunday, December 28; contact Clay & Pat Sutton at 609-465-3397 or pcsutton@bellatlantic.net.

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://www.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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