Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/24/2003
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 Wednesday, December 24, 2003. Happy Christmas. Highlights from the last week include ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, MARBLED GODWIT, GREAT CORMORANT, WHITE-EYED VIREO, and notes on lingering birds.

The young male ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD continues in Cape May through at least Dec. 18th, visiting feeders in front of 1321-B Ohio Ave. and also at 1012 Cape May Ave. in Cape May. Watch from the street or the sidewalk at either house. A late RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD continues to visit feeders at houses along Bayshore Rd. through at least the 22nd.

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. 19th. This area also harbored 3 MARBLED GODWITS, 195 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS, 10 GREAT CORMORANTS, a late TRICOLORED HERON, a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, and 2 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS on the 19th.

Some noteworthy finds from the Belleplain Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 21st include a WHITE-EYED VIREO on Berrytown Rd. in Cumberland County, GOLDEN EAGLES at Jakes Landing and over the Maurice River, and an OSPREY at Mays Landing.

A BLACK RAIL was reported from a creek just south of Eldora along Rt. 47 on the 21st, and 2 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were counted from the Avalon Seawatch on Dec. 22. A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was seen from the Hawkwatch in Cape May Point State Park on the 22nd, and a PEREGRINE FALCON was at Bivalve in Cumberland County on the 23rd. Two REDHEADS continue to frequent Lily Lake in Cape May Point, in the company of a RING-NECKED DUCK and 4 COMMON MERGANSERS on Dec. 23rd, and a GLOSSY IBIS has lingered at The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge through at least the 18th. SHORT-EARED OWLS continue to be seen from Jakes Landing on many evenings.

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!

The Cumberland County Christmas Bird Count is set for Sunday, December 28; contact Clay & Pat Sutton at 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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