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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/1/1996
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 Feb. 1, 1996 include sightings of DOVEKIE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, ICELAND GULL, RED-NECKED GREBE, HORSESHOE CRAB hearing announcement, EAGLE observation cruises, and nature notes.

An important news item: Amended regulations to protect HORSESHOE CRABS will be open to public comment at a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7 PM, in Dennisville NJ. The hearing is at the Dennisville Municipal Building, 571 Petersburg Rd. (that's County Road 610).

The proposed regulation changes include: (1) No harvest of Horseshoe Crabs on Delaware Bay waterfront beaches. (2) No landings of Crabs by net or any other means in Delaware Bay or Atlantic coastal waters during the period May 1 to May 31; and (3) an allowed harvest in back bays and tidal creeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, by hand only, commencing one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise.

These proposed regulation changes will provide adequate protection for spawning Horseshoe Crabs, and reduce disturbance of the migratory shorebirds feeding on the Delaware Bayfront beaches. Please come out if you can and show support for these measures.

Now on with the bird sightings. Three DOVEKIES were seen this week, all on Jan. 27. One was a fly-by at the Avalon Seawatch; one was off the Concrete Ship; and the third was found alive in the middle of Goshen-Courthouse Road. This bird was taken to the Avalon Seawatch and released.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen on Jan. 30 and 31 at the Beanery; the bird was right along the road near the bean machines. Two RED-NECKED GREBES were seen on Jan 31 across the street from the Mill Creek Marina.

Other highlights include: COMMON EIDER off the State Park on Feb. 1; an AMERICAN BITTERN at the South Cape May Meadows on Jan. 28; GREAT CORMORANT on the Concrete Ship Jan.29; REDHEADS on Lighthouse pond Jan. 29; and an adult ICELAND GULL at Port Norris in Cumberland County.

The feeders around CMBO have attracted an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, a couple of FOX SPARROWS, PURPLE FINCH and both WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES.

SHORT-EARED OWLS are still being seen in good numbers at their usual haunts. Places to look include Jakes Landing Road, Manahawkin, Mott's Creek Road, Leeds Point Road, Corbin City WMA, Goshen Landing, Reeds Beach, Hansey Creek and Turkey Point, Fortescue, actually any road that takes you out onto the salt marshes.]

A belated Christmas count note from the Cumberland County CBC, held on Jan. 1; it recorded 124 species, with 12 species seen in record numbers; 146 N. HARRIERS, 22 COOPERS HAWKS, 10 RED-SHOULDERS, 141 RED-TAILS, 28 SHORT-EARS, 111 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS, 6 PHOEBES, 83 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 179 HERMIT THRUSHES. However, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS were at their lowest since 1981 and CEDAR WAXWINGS at the lowest since 1976.

Every Saturday and Sunday in March, the Jersey Cape Nature Excursion boat will be offering BALD EAGLE observation cruises on the Maurice (say "Morris") River, in Cumberland County, at 10 AM, returning at noon. Cost is $25/adult, $12/child. Call (609) 884-3712 to register or for info.

Local nature notes: Several hibernating BATS have been discovered in Cape May: a SILVER-HAIRED BAT on house siding, and a HOARY BAT on a tree trunk, both discovered in Late December, and both seem to have survived the deep freeze.

[program information deleted--LL]

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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