You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the NJ Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This is an early hotline for the week ending December 27th. This hotline will not be updated on December 30 unless [something] exciting surfaces. Highlights for the week ending December 27 include: KITTIWAKE; LITTLE GULL; EURASIAN WIGEON; HARLEQUIN DUCK; COMMON EIDER; FORSTER'S TERN; WILLET; PINE WARBLER; PHOEBE; COMMON MOORHEN; GRASSHOPPER SPARROW; ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER; GOSHAWK; BALD EAGLE; DICKCISSEL; and Christmas Bird counts news.
CMBO's Seawatch at the north end of Avalon broke 1/2 million by the middle of December and observers continued to log in the last bit of the flight. The Seawatch had an Eider fly by on December 23; a late Laughing Gull on December 24 and an adult Kittiwake and an adult Little Gull on the 26th and another siting of an adult Little Gull on the 27th.
Preliminary results of the Cape May Christmas Bird Count held on December 26 follow: a EURASIAN WIGEON that had disappeared for a few days was found in Wildwood Crest; Cold Spring jetty had 2 HARLEQUIN DUCKS and 3 COMMON EIDERS; FORSTER'S TERNS were seen by 4 parties along the Altantic Coastal marshes; 2 SNOW BUNTINGS were seen at N. Wildwood; the Stone Harbor Point area had over 150 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS; our wintering WILLET is again at the north end of Avalon; the Seawatch in Avalon and Cold Spring jetty in Cape May both logged in an adult KITTIWAKE and an adult LITTLE GULL; a PINE WARBLER was in Rio Grande near the Wildwood waterworks; 2 PHOEBES were seen, 1 in Goshen and 1 at Cold Spring Campground; the South Cape May Meadows held a lingering COMMON MOORHEN and a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW; in fact, the Grasshopper Sparrow has been seen off and on in the area east of the parking lot since December 22; 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were seen, 1 in a Hidden Valley field off New England Rd, and the other at Higbee Beach in the fisherman's parking lot by the jetty; a HOUSE WREN was at Hidden Valley and a TREE SPARROW in N. Cape May; a PURPLE FINCH was a flyover at the county airport; a GOSHAWK was over the Cape May area; an an immature Goshawk was found sitting on the bunker December 24.
A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK came in to pishing at Higbee Beach; at least 4 BALD EAGLES were seen during the Cape May CBC, including a 3rd year bird over the Beanery; and 3 birds in Goshen, including 1 adult, 1 different 3rd year bird with an Osprey-like head and a 1st year bird; a SHORT-EARED OWL was found over the Atlantic Coastal marshes; and several BARN OWLS and LONG-EARED OWLS were found along the wooded edge of the Delaware Bayshore.
A DICKCISSEL was in with House Sparrows at the South Cape May Meadows parking lot on December 24th. On December 25, the South Cape May Meadows held 2 IPSWICH SPARROWS, an AMERICAN BITTERN, a COMMON MOORHEN and 3 Tree Swallows. Also keep an eye out for HORNED LARK and AMERICAN PIPIT, both were reported there on December 24. A GREEN HERON was still being seen in the Cape Point State Park on December 25.
Program and nature notes omitted.
The Cape 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, I might add, this birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and fieldtrips and the Observatory, call our office at (609) 884-2736. If you're in the area, don't hesitate to visit our headquarters at 707 E. Lake Drive, Cape May Point. The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory and detailes sitings of Cape May, Cumberland, Altantic Counties and the nearshore waters. Updates are made on Thursday evenings, more often if warranted. Please report sitings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling.