Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/7/1995
Hotline Cooperative mailing list, PROVIDED THAT no changes are made, credit is given and headers are included. Queries and comments to CMBO, please, not to transcriber. You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending Dec. 7, 1995 include sightings of LITTLE GULL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, ICELAND GULL, Hawkwatch and Seawatch summaries, announcements and local nature notes.

A LITTLE GULL was a fly-by at the Seawatch on Dec. 4. Other highlights there this week included a HARLEQUIN DUCK Dec. 2 and an ICELAND GULL Dec. 3.

A BLACK RAIL was heard calling in the South Cape May Meadows on the evening of Dec. 5.

Three AMERICAN BITTERNS were seen flying to roost in the Meadows on Dec. 2, and another was there Dec. 6. Other highlights this week included a DICKCISSEL in the Villas on Dec. 5, and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT on the Yellow Trail in the State park on Dec. 6.

Nov. 30 marked the end of the 1995 CMBO Hawkwatch, staffed this year by Andre Robinson. The total was 60,128 hawks and eagles. The following counts were new record highs: 195 BLACK VULTURES, 3242 TURKEY VULTURES, 5010 COOPER'S HAWKS, 26 GOLDEN EAGLES, 1101 PEREGRINE FALCONS. Other highlights of the fall raptor migration included: 135 BALD EAGLES, over 2600 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 54 NORTHERN GOSHAWKS, 3 SWAINSON'S HAWKS. On Dec. 2, after the official end of the watch, another good cold front brought one more raptor flight, including an imm. BALD EAGLE, 4 BLACK VULTURES and squadrons of REDTAILS & TURKEY VULTURES.

The CMBO Seawatch at the north end of Avalon is staffed by Dave Ward, Clay Sutton, Mike O'Brien, Fred Mears. A tally at the end of November showed that 880,829 seabirds have been counted, with another month still to go.

Some recent highlights at the Seawatch include: 6800 RED-THROATED LOONS on Nov. 20; & 3000 on Dec. 4; 9 GREAT CORMORANTS on Dec. 4; 13 COMMON EIDERS on Dec. 4; 648 OLDSQUAW on Nov. 24; 961 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER on Nov. 23; 410 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS on Nov. 25; 2 large Alcids (unidentified) on Dec. 3.

This fall, Katy Duffy banded an amazing 637 SAW-WHET OWLS at Cape May Point. Since then, observers have found 28 road-killed Saw-whets in South Jersey; four of those were wearing Katy's bands. The first, on Nov 25, was found about 3 mi. north of cape May; banded Oct. 26. Second, on Nov. 26, found 1.6 mi north of Cape May on the Garden State Parkway, banded Nov. 17. Third, also Nov. 26, found 16.6 mi north of Cape May on the Parkway, banded Oct. 26; fourth, found Dec. 3 on the Parkway, 55 mi north of Cape May at New Gretna, NJ, banded Oct. 26.

Local nature notes:

Dozens of BATS were seen Dec. 1-2. Two SILVER-HAIRED BATS were found; one was dead, found inside CMBO; the other was roosting in a wood-pile in Cape May Point. Dec. 2, Three QUESTION MARK butterflies were seen from the Avalon Sea Watch, and on Dec. 4, sea watchers also saw a MONARCH and a QUESTION MARK. The only other butterfly this week was an ORANGE SULPHUR on Dec. 3 north of Cape May on Seashore Rd.


South Jersey Christmas Bird Counts: Oceanville, Dec. 16, call Ed Bristow, (609) 641-4671. Belleplain, Dec. 17, call Paul Kosten at (609) 861-5827. Marmora, Sunday Dec. 17, Ed Bristow, (609) 641-4671. Cape May, Dec. 31, call Louise Zemaitis or Vince Elia at (609) 884-2736 (CMBO). Cumberland County, Jan. 1, Clay Sutton, (609) 465-3397.

Jersey Cape Nature Excursions offers winter waterfowl cruises through protected back bay waters, every Sat. & Sun. 10 AM to 1 PM, aboard a 37 foot catamaran with enclosed cabin; call (609) 884-3712 for reservations or information.

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The Cape May 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 this birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, and the Observatory, call our office at 609-884-2736 or a send a request for info to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area, do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.

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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