Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/27/2001
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 27, 2001. Reports have been scarce as many birders travel for the holidays. Highlights from the last week include BELL'S VIREO, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, GLAUCOUS GULL, COMMON REDPOLL, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, SNOWY OWL, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, and lingering migrants.

A BELL'S VIREO first seen Dec. 16 has been seen as recently as Dec. 25 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 young male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was found in Cape May Point on December 8 and was still present as of Dec. 22. We have no reports, positive or negative, since then. The bird has frequenting a feeder at 404 Central Avenue, sometimes showing up across the street at 407 Central, where there is a feeder on the porch. Both feeders are easily seen from the street.

Highlights from the Belleplain Christmas Bird Count, held on Dec. 23, include a GLAUCOUS GULL on the Maurice River, a COMMON REDPOLL near Bivalve, a lingering GREAT EGRET at South Dennis, and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL near Bayside State Prison.

A SNOWY OWL was seen in Avalon, at the beach and 65th St., on Dec. 21. Two SNOWY OWLS continue at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge through Dec. 25.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen near the railroad tracks off Wilson St., just north of West Cape May, on Dec. 22.

Two BALTIMORE ORIOLES and two ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, were seen in Cape May Point State Park on Dec. 23. A WILSON'S WARBLER was seen here on Dec. 22.

A dark morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen at Reed's Beach on Dec. 22, and a light morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen at East Point on Dec. 23.

One southern NJ Christmas Bird Count is still coming up: 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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