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 19 include BELL'S VIREO, DOVEKIE,
LITTLE GULL, news of CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch and our Avalon
Seawatch, local nature notes, an announcement about an upcoming
Pelagic Trip, news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips,
local Christmas Bird Count dates and contacts.
A BELL'S VIREO was seen at Hidden Valley Ranch on the morning of
December 4th and seen again later that afternoon. Although
searched for on December 5th it was not refound.
A DOVEKIE was seen sitting in the inlet at the Avalon Seawatch on
An adult LITTLE GULL was seen off of Cape May Point on November
The EURASIAN WIGEON is still being seen, most recently on
December 2nd on Lily Lake. A Redhead has also been present on
Other highlights this week include a late PECTORAL SANDPIPER
flying by the Hawkwatch on November 29th, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
in West Cape May on November 29th, a very late BOBOLINK on
December 1st at Higbee's Beach, a flock of 50 SNOW BUNTINGS over
the dunes at the Meadows on December 2nd, and 13 FOX SPARROWS at
the Beanery on December 3rd.
CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch wrapped up November 30th with a grand
tally of 71,026 raptors this fall. Congratulations Jerry Liguori
for a job well done! Highlights were many, like record numbers
of Turkey Vultures (6,425), Osprey (6,734), Bald Eagles (284),
Red-tailed Hawks (5,135), Golden Eagles (38), and Peregrines
(1,503)! There were also 4 Swainson's Hawks, a day with 24 Bald
Eagles (September 20th), a day with 8 Golden Eagles (November
3rd), and a day with 206 Peregrines (October 1st). The last
week of the Hawkwatch tallied in 6 Goshawks and 3 Bald Eagles
among other things.
The Avalon Seawatch, being conducted at 7th Street and the Beach
at the North en d of Avalon, is still in full swing. November's
total alone was 461,155 Seabirds and the grand total to date as
of November 30th was 981,404 Seabirds -- we're definitely going
to reach over one m illion birds again in 1996! Recent
highlights in addition to the Dovekie included Red-necked Grebes
on November 28th and 30th, Glaucous Gull on the 28th, 3 Great
Cormorants on November 30th, Common Eider on November 28th and
December 2, unid. Jaeger on December 1, and good looks still at
lots of Red-throated Loons, Horned Grebes, N. Gannets, Oldsquaw,
Scoter, and Red-breasted Mergansers.
CMBO's Waterfowl Cruise on November 30th enjoyed good looks at
Oldsquaw, both loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Bufflehead,
Brant, and found terrific numbers of American Oystercatchers on
the marsh edges in the back bays, including over 200
Oystercatchers and 4 Great Cormorants perched on Champagne
Island in Hereford Inlet.
A SHORT-EARED OWL was seen from Jakes Landing Road on December 3
hunting the marshes way out near the Delaware Bay, along with a
Rough-legged Hawk. On November 29th, a Short-eared Owl was
discovered at 4 p.m. hunting The Nature Conservancy's refuge on
Sunset Boulevard. The dune crossovers in "The Meadows" is also
a good place to search for Snow Buntings; 50 were seen there on
A winter Pelagic Birding Trip out of Brielle, NJ, will be offered
Saturday, December 7th, leaving at 5 a.m. and returning that
evening at 8 p.m. For more information and to register, call
Focus on Nature Tours at 302-529-1876.
Two half-day Mini Pelagic trips are scheduled out of Cape May
aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher on December 8th and December
14th. Trips leave at 8 a.m., cost is $35. Call 1-800-786- 5445
for more details and to register.
Local Nature Notes follow: The last Monarch migrated by the
Avalon Seawatch on November 24th! Butterfliers will have to
patiently wait until spring now -- or head south to Florida or
the tropics! Fox Sparrows are in. American Holly trees are
heavy with berries. Sumac fruit clusters stand out now as most
of the leaves have fallen. Adult Bald Eagles are paired up and
on territory; they might be found near their nests, like the
pair that's been seen sitting side by side on the back edge of
East Creek Lake each early morning. Most of the leaves have been
blown from the trees and it's a good time to search for large
stick nests that Great Horned Owls might use for their nests in
a little over one month, they being our earliest nesting bird -
one eggs by January.
Some of CMBO's upcoming programs follow: On Wednesday, December
11th, at 7:30 p .m. Paul Kerlinger will present a program on the
same topic as his latest book, "How Birds Migrate." This is one
of our Members' Nights, ALL ARE WELCOME! Every Saturday (through
December) Tom Parsons will lead a "Birding Cape May Point" walk
at 7:30 a.m., meeting in the raised picnic pavilion at Cape May
Point State Park. The Cape May Bird Observatory's winter program
schedule is now in print and being sent to members.
Non-members should give us a call if they'd like to receive a
copy. Weekly "Owl & Hawk Watches at Jakes Landing" will be held
every Friday January 3 through March 14th at 4:00 p.m. Weekly
"Winter Bird Walks" will be held every Sunday January through
March at 8:30 a.m., meeting in the raised picnic pavilion at the
Cape May Point State Park. A Weeklong Birding Workshop for
Hawks, Owls, and Winter Waterfowl will be led and taught January
6-10th by Pat and Clay Sutton and Pete Dunne. There's still
room; call for the weekong workshop flyer and registration form.
A special Members' Night will be held January 15th at the NEW
CMBO in Goshen, with "a Birthday Party for New Jersey Audubon
Society in its 100th Year!" scheduled for 7:30-9 p.m. Six "Owl
Workshops" are scheduled: January 18, 25, Fe bruary 1, 5, and 15.
The "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" will be taught January
25-26, February 22-23, and March 29-30. A "Winter Raptors of
Bear Swamp and the Delaware Bayshore" is scheduled for February
8, AND MUCH MORE!
The three local Christmas Bird Counts will all be held on Sunday
this year; dates and contacts follow: Cape May CBC on December
22, call Vince Elia or Louise Zemaitis at 609-884-2736;
Belleplain CBC on December 29, call Paul Kosten at 609-861-5827;
Cumberland CBC on January 5, call Clay Sutton at 609-465-3397.
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 send a request for information 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 DAILY, 9-5.
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!