Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 12/9/1993
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. 9, 1993 include AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, EURASIAN WIGEON, COMMON EIDER, GOLDEN EAGLE, LITTLE GULL, BARN SWALLOW & other lingerers, a Western WINTER WREN, DICKCISSEL, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, EVENING GROSBEAK, seabird flights.

Three AM. WHITE PELICANS found on Dec. 1 along Ocean Drive, continue to be seen sporadically. They were seen last on Dec. 7. To find them drive east on Ocean drive from the end of the Garden State Parkway and look to the left (north). While there, look for the EURASIAN WIGEON that was also reported there Dec. 7.

Highlights this week at the sea watch in Avalon include 3 COMMON EIDERS and a LITTLE GULL Dec. 3; an unidentified ALCID on Dec. 7, and 1500 Oldsquaw and an unidentified ALCID on Dec. 8. Another COMMON EIDER has been seen daily at the west end of the bridge to North Wildwood. Two other LITTLE GULLS, an adult and an immature, were with a flock of over 200 Bonaparte's Gulls over the rips off Cape May Point on Dec. 8. An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL continues on the beach south of Higbee Beach. Very small numbers of Laughing Gulls (high count 3) are lingering but the vast majority have gone south. A Green Heron continues to linger on Bunker Pond, seen as recently as Dec. 8.

Over 120 Common Snipe were found along the Manumuskin River by a kayaker on Dec. 7. An observer at Leeds Point in Atlantic County found adult BALD EAGLE, imm. light-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, and four GOLDEN EAGLES (2 immatures, 1 sub-adult, 1 adult) on Dec. 6.

Many species that should have left by now are still present. The highlight was a YELLOW WARBLER at Avalon Dec. 6. Others were 2 Barn Swallows at Hidden Valley Dec. 6 and at Higbee Dec. 7-8; an AM. PIPIT at Hidden Valley Dec. 3; a House Wren and a Nashville Warbler all week at Hidden Valley in the same places where one of each wintered last year; and a N. Parula at the new state-owned Bayshore Road property Dec. 7-8. For the first week in a long time, N. Orioles were not reported.

Small numbers of finches are still present. A small flock of EVENING GROSBEAKS have taken up residence at a feeder in Woodbine, though none were reported elsewhere in the county this week. COMMON REDPOLL reports this week include: one at Hidden Valley Dec. 3; three near the Bayshore Rd. property Dec. 6; three at Cape May Point Dec. 8; and 17 at Hidden Valley Dec. 9. All were flyovers.

Interesting passerines this week were highlighted by a WINTER WREN, apparently of one of the Western subspecies, at the Beanery Dec. 9. The very different call and somewhat differnt plumage were noted by the single observer. Other goodies included 150 Cedar Waxwings at Cape May Point Dec. 9, an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER daily at Hidden Valley; a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW Dec. 6 at Higbee; an AM. TREE SPARROW and a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW together at Hidden Valley Dec. 9.

[local nature notes omitted -ll]

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 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. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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