Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/20/2001
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This recording was made on Thursday, December 20, 2001. Highlights from the last week include BELL'S VIREO, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, LITTLE GULL, LARK SPARROW, SNOWY OWL, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, RED CROSSBILL, COMMON REDPOLL, GLAUCOUS GULL, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, RAZORBILL, and lingering migrants.

A BELL'S VIREO was seen Dec. 16, 17, and 19 on Cape Island just north of West Cape May. From the north, take Seashore Road over the canal. Continue about 0.6 miles and turn right (west) on Taylor Lane. After a short distance, Taylor Lane becomes a loop; head for the extreme southwest corner of the loop, to #23 Taylor Lane. Unfortunately, there is no number on the mailbox or on the house, but it is a beige house with green shutters, and the next door neighbor -- #21 does have their number on their mailbox. Number 23 has the only native thick brush remaining in the housing development. The bird has been seen along the right side of the driveway in the brush, but long periods have passed without the bird being seen. The owners have graciously given permission for birders to walk up and down the driveway, but under no circumstances should anyone walk onto their newly planted yard, enter the brushy area, or enter the property of any neighbors. This is a sensitive issue in this neighborhood; please be careful.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW has been seen at the same location, #23 Taylor Lane.

A young male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was found in Cape May Point on December 8 and is still present. The bird is frequenting a feeder at 404 Central Avenue. The feeder is easily seen from the street, to the left of the house.

Two LITTLE GULLS were seen on Dec. 16 along with 700 BONAPARTE'S GULLS offshore from the Gingerbread Church in Cape May Point.

A LARK SPARROW has been seen Dec. 16 through 18 near Cape May Court House. From Garden State Parkway exit 10, go west on Stone Harbor Blvd., which crosses Rt. 9 and becomes Court House South Dennis Road. Go 0.6 miles beyond the traffic light at Winding Way (Ames and Super Fresh on the right here) and look for a small "Firewood for Sale" sign on the left. Park opposite that sign on the right, and cross the 100-foot wide lawn area to the right, to a brushy area where there are piles of garden refuge. The LARK SPARROW has been seen here along with other sparrow.

Two SNOWY OWLS were seen on the Cape May Christmas Count, December 16, one at Stone Harbor Point and a second off Ocean Drive at the south end of Wildwood Crest. A SNOWY OWL was seen on the beach in North Wildwood Dec. 17 through 19.

A fly-over WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL was observed at Reed's Beach on December 16th, and four RED CROSSBILLS were seen the same day at Hidden Valley. A COMMON REDPOLL was seen on the 16th near Norbury's Landing.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was seen at Stone Harbor Point on December 16. A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen on the 16th on the Delaware Bay beach at Villas.

A RAZORBILL was seen from the Avalon Seawatch on December 17th.

Not surprisingly, given the mild autumn weather, many lingering birds were found on the Cape May Christmas Count, Dec. 16, including nearly 1000 RED KNOTS, many LAUGHING GULLS, 11 BALTIMORE ORIOLES, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, and BLUE-WINGED TEAL.

Two southern NJ Christmas Bird Counts are coming up: the Belleplain CBC will be held Sunday, December 23 (contact Paul Kosten at 609-861-5827 to participate), and the Cumberland County CBC will be held Sunday, December 30 (contact Clay Sutton at 609-465-3397 to participate).

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks that require no pre-registration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call 609-861-0700, go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org, or call our new natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466.

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 Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to mark@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

*Documentation of Review List species goes to NJBRC at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman 08558

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