Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/3/1992
You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Dec. 3 include: ROCK WREN, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, KITTIWAKE, COMMON EIDER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, PHOEBE, WATER PIPIT, five species of WARBLERS, N. ORIOLE, REDHEAD, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, PEREGRINE FALCON, GOSHAWK, BLACK VULTURE, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, an announcement for all registrants on the pelagic birding trip Dec. 5, and news of upcoming programs. A ROCK WREN was discovered on Dec. 2 at cape May Point, on the beach near St. Peter's by the Sea, a church at the intersection of Ocean and Harvard Avenues. By the next day, Dec. 3, a northwest gale made the beach a blinding sandstorm, and the bird was rediscovered just in from the beach, near the two new construction sites across from 405 Lincoln Ave. This ROCK WREN is one of only a few Eastern records, is the first NJ record, and, obviously, the first Cape May County record. AN ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was seen Nov. 28 at Higbee's Beach, in the last field on the right, but has not been reported since. On Dec. 1-2 a good movement of Bunker or Menhaden, a kind of fish, just off the beachfront, brought in numbers of KITTIWAKES. From the south end of Stone Harbor, and from the north end of Avalon, numbers were seen both days, including a flock of 20 resting on the waves. Between 50 and 60 KITTIWAKES were seen on Dec. 2. Each day a JAEGER was seen as well, and thousands of N. GANNETS. All came in for the Menhaden. A group of COMMON EIDERS has been lingering around the 114th Street Jetty in Stone Harbor since Dec. 1. An adult male and 3 female-types were there Dec. 1; on Dec. 2, there were 2 imm. males and 2 females. A WESTERN KINGBIRD was at Higbee's Beach Nov. 28. A PHOEBE was seen in Goshen on Nov. 28. Ten WATER PIPITS were on the beach west of Second Ave. in Cape May Nov. 28. Five SNOW BUNTINGS were seen from the Hawkwatch on Nov. 28. 100+ SNOW BUNTINGS were at Brigantine NWR on Nov. 25, along the dike near the west pool. Dec. 2, a landbird flight not only dropped the ROCK WREN, but also brought a male CAPE MAY WARBLER, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, two BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, an INDIGO BUNTING, four RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, two CHIPPING SPARROWS, a FOX SPARROW, 150 JUNCOS, 100 MEADOWLARKS, a NORTHERN ORIOLE, TREE SPARROW, and many WHITE-THROATED, SONG, and SWAMP SPARROWS to Cape May Point and Hidden Valley. Two REDHEADS, ONE RING-NECKED DUCK, several hundred AM. WIGEON, 20 GADWALL, and several PIED-BILLED GREBES were in Lighthouse Pond at Cape May Point State Park Nov. 28. Another good waterfowl watching spot is along Ocean Drive just north of Cape May. Five HOODED MERGANSERS were seen there Nov. 27. An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen at Stone Harbor Point Dec. 1. Several dozen PURPLE SANDPIPER are being seen at Second Av.e jetty in Cape May. An adult female PEREGRINE FALCON has been frequenting Cape May Point State Park for the past few weeks, perching on the pole near the nature trails and visible from the Hawkwatch platform. On Nov. 30, the Cape May Hawkwatch came to an end, and Jorge Montejo Diaz has headed back to Mexico. The final day was highlighted by sightings of ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, N. GOSHAWK, and BLACK VULTURE. The monthly total for November was 1143 hawks. The northwest gales of December will probably bring some final hawk flights. Numbers of whales and seabirds are reported to this office from the whale watching boat as being close to shore on Nov. 28, with a whale seen near the Concrete Ship on Nov. 27. The Saturday, Dec. 5, pelagic trip, benefitting CMBO, is full. The trip is on for Sat. Dec. 5, but if weather warrants moving to the foul-weather date of Sunday, Dec. 6, this hotline will be updated Friday by 3 PM. [Program announcements omitted. -LL] Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and conservation unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, phone our office at 609-884-2736 or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. The Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if warranted. [Compiled by CMBO staff; transcribed by L. Larson (llarson@pucc.princeton.edu).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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