Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/19/2002
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 19, 2002. Highlights from the last week include WESTERN TANAGER, PAINTED BUNTING, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, ICELAND GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, EURASIAN WIGEON, and WESTERN KINGBIRD.

A WESTERN TANAGER was found on the Cape May Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 15th, in the Erma/Rio Grande area of southern New Jersey. It is still present as of Dec. 19th. From the intersection of Routes 47 and 9, head south on 9 less than a mile and turn east on Myrtle, go a few blocks to Oak. The bird was seen in the yard of a red house near this intersection, particularly in a high-bush cranberry. Unfortunately the street sign for Myrtle Ave is missing out on Route 9; it is the first street north of Carol Ave.

A female or young male PAINTED BUNTING was found on Dec. 8th at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area and has been seen almost every day through at least Dec. 16th. From the parking area, follow the right hand trail into the fields. The bird feeds along the edges of the second or third field.

A LONG-BILLED CURLEW continues to be seen in the marshes behind North Wildwood. It has been seen almost every day since Dec. 2nd; our most recent report is from Dec. 17th. Best viewing is from the west end of 26th, 19th, 17th, and 14th Streets in North Wildwood. The bird is usually seen at lower tides.

An ICELAND GULL has been seen from Dec. 16th to 19th along Ocean Drive near the southernmost toll bridge. A GLAUCOUS GULL was found here on Dec. 15th. A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was seen offshore from Cape May Point on Dec. 15th.

A drake EURASIAN WIGEON was found on Dec. 12th at Davy's Lake in the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area. It has been seen since that date here and at other nearby ponds, including the small willow-lined pond at Hidden Valley.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD has been seen at the Rea Farm from Nov. 28th through at least Dec. 18th. The bird frequents the north edge of the southernmost field (one that borders Stevens St.) at the farm, but occasionally is seen at other locations.

Two COMMON EIDERS were seen offshore at North Wildwood on December 13th. Three KING EIDERS and one COMMON EIDER were seen off the north end of Atlantic City, near the Taj Mahal Casino and the inlet, on Dec. 15th & 16th.

A very late adult male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD continues to be seen at feeders in private yards at at least two locations near Cape May Point. Two very late BROWN PELICANS were seen near Wildwood on Dec. 15th, and presumably the same two birds were also seen that day at the Avalon Seawatch. Also very late was a BROAD-WINGED HAWK seen in Cape May Point on Dec. 15th. These lingering birds were reported from several locations each during the last week: NASHVILLE WARBLER, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, PALM WARBLER, TREE SWALLOW, and EASTERN PHOEBE.

The Cape May Christmas Bird Count tallied 158 species on Dec. 15th. Thanks to all who helped out! The Belleplain Count will be Sunday, Dec. 22nd, and the Cumberland County Count will be Sunday, Dec. 29th. Contact either CMBO Center for information on participating in any of these south Jersey counts.

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://cmbo.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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