Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/5/2002
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 Thursday, December 5, 2002. Highlights from the last week include LONG-BILLED CURLEW, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, CAVE SWALLOW, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, and news of the migration.

A LONG-BILLED CURLEW has once again been found in the marshes behind North Wildwood. The bird was seen from the Skimmer boat on, ironically, its last cruise of the season, Nov. 30th. It was seen again on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 from vantage points at the west end of 26th and 19th Streets in North Wildwood. The best time to see this birds seems to be at low tide.

A WHITE-WINGED DOVE continues to be seen in a yard on Cape Island, where it was first found on Nov. 28th. The house is at 4068 Bayshore Road, a bit north of "The Beanery". Park on the road shoulder and walk along the driveway into the back yard. The bird is most often seen on the ground beneath a bird feeder near the small pond, but it is sometimes in the trees and it has even been on the wires right along the street. Remember that this is private property please use all common courtesies.

The invasion of CAVE SWALLOWS seems to have subsided, but a single bird was seen Dec. 2nd at The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows") and one was seen from the Hawkwatch at Cape May Point State Park on Nov. 30th.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was found along the entrance road to the Two Mile Beach Unit of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 2nd.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD has seen at the Rea Farm from Nov. 28th through at least Dec. 4th. The bird frequents the north edge of the southernmost field (one that borders Stevens St.) at the farm, but occasionally is seen at other locations.

A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was seen from the Avalon Seawatch on Dec. 3rd.

SHORT-EARED OWLS and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS are establishing winter territories over many of south Jersey's marshes. Sightings have come from Jakes Landing, Moores Beach, McNamara WMA, and Corbin City WMA.

Autumn migrants are still trickling into Cape May, a few lingering birds are still being reported, and winter birds are settling into patterns. Noteworthy is the continuation of an adult male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD that is utilizing feeders in at least two yards, one in West Cape May and one along Seagrove Ave., just east of Cape May Point. The bird is still present (in the snow) as of Dec. 5th. Other birds reported more than once each this week include BONAPARTE'S GULL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, NASHVILLE WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.

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://cmbo.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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