Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/8/1994
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Dec. 8, 1994 include: BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, SPOTTED TOWHEE, MARBLED GODWIT, RUFFED GROUSE, general bird news, Christmas Bird Counts, and announcements.

A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was seen on the beach at the South Cape May Meadows on Dec. 3. The bird had been lying on its belly at the tide line, and then flew off to the east.

The SPOTTED TOWHEE, the Western race of RUFOUS-SIDED TOWHEE, was seen again this week on Dec. 2, in the same location along Seagrove Ave. just before Lighthouse Ave.

Three MARBLED GODWITS were seen on Nummy Island at the west end of the toll bridge on Dec. 3.

A RUFFED GROUSE was seen in the State Park along the "red" trail on Dec. 4. This is the first report of a grouse at Cape May Point since December, 1941.

Highlights from the mini-pelagic trip Dec. 3 include 7 MANX SHEARWATERS, 2 RAZORBILLS & 9 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES.

Other interesting sightings this week included: a Solitary Vireo along Seagrove Ave. on Dec.2; N. Oriole, also along Seagrove, on Dec. 2 & 4; an Orange-crowned Warbler at Cape May Point Dec. 4; 2 Black Skimmers at Cape May Harbor Dec. 7, and a Chat at Higbee Beach Dec. 8.

A survey of the Maurice River in Cumberland Co. on Dec. 8 produced 5 BALD EAGLES (3 ad., 2 imm.). Other raptor highlights this week included a Northern Goshawk along Seagrove Ave. Dec. 2, and a Peregrine Falcon at the State Park Dec. 3.

CMBO's full time sea watch is being conducted from Seventh Ave. at the north end of Avalon. To date, the total is over 600,000 seabirds for the season. Highlights this past week included BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE Dec. 7, along with a BROWN PELICAN the same day.

Christmas bird counts are less than a month away. Contact local compilers if you are interested; phone numbers follow. Oceanville: Sat. Nov. 17; Marmora, Sun. Nov. 18, both organized by Ed Bristow (609) 641-4671. Cape May, Sun. Nov. 18, organized by Louise Zemaitis and Vince Elia; call Louise at CMBO, (609) 884-2736. Belleplain, Mon., Dec. 26, Paul Kosten, (609) 861-5827. Cumberland, Sun. Jan. 1, Clay Sutton, (609) 465-3397.

Local nature notes: Amazingly, butterflies continue to be seen a the Cape. The Sea watch at Avalon had 2 MONARCHS and 3 BUCKEYES on Dec. 6; a Buckeye was also seen at the State Park Dec. 7, and that same date produced a gathering of ORANGE SULPHURS around the point. Dec. 7 also saw an excellent count of GREEN DARNER Dragonflies, with as many as 30 present around the point.

[Program notes omitted -LL]

Fine print: 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, phone our office 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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