Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/10/1994
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 Feb. 10, 1994 include AMERICAN BITTERN, ROSS'S GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, ICELAND, LESSER-BLACK-BACKED, and ICELAND GULLS, SNOWY OWL, SHORT-EARED OWL, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, SNOW BUNTING, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, COMMON REDPOLL, and announcements.

A brief announcement for those registered for CMBO's Feb. 12 Raptor field trip: due to ice on all the back roads, and predictions of more ice and snow Friday night and Saturday, this field trip has been rescheduled for Sunday Feb. 27. If you are registered and cannot make this date call CMBO asap so that we may refund your registration fee and call someone on the waiting list.

The best bird of the week by far was the immature GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW found by one birder at the end of Gandy Rd. at Turkey Point in Cumberland County on the morning of Feb. 6. This represents the fourth state and first county record. Unfortunately neither the bird, nor the flock it was with, have been relocated since, hence we didn't make a special update of the tape. Other birds found at Turkey Point Feb. 6 included 4 TUNDRA SWANS, COMMON MERGANSERS, SHORT-EARED OWL, 20 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, and some RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. One lucky party had a good day on the 6th despite missing the sparrow; they saw a second-winter GLAUCOUS GULL at Heislerville, a first winter ICELAND GULL at the shell pile in Bivalve, a ROSS'S GOOSE among a flock of Snow Geese flying over the bay at East Point, and 52 BLACK VULTURES in one kettle near the lower lake roost.

One or two SNOWY OWLS continue at Holgate, at the south end of Long Beach Island. Raptors continue to be seen in large numbers in the Mott's Creek - Leed's Point area north of Brigantine. Seen there on Feb. 7 were two GOLDEN EAGLES, one adult and one immature; 6 BALD EAGLES, two adults and four immatures; three ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, all light morph adults; one PEREGRINE FALCON, two SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, two COOPER'S HAWKS, and lots of NORTHERN HARRIERS and RED-TAILED HAWKS.

An adult male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD continues to be seen sporadically among a big flock of blackbirds, mostly Common Grackles, in a field of standing corn along Bayshore Rd. just south of New England Rd. in North Cape May. It has been seen every day since first being seen on Feb. 5, but it can take perseverance to search through the tens of thousands of blackbirds in the area. Also in the area is a flock of about 50 COMMON REDPOLLS that is seen nearly daily. Another flock of REDPOLLS visited a Winona, NJ, feeder on Feb. 5. Should you observe any Redpoll flocks be sure to look through them for Hoaries; one lucky couple in Maryland is reportedly playing host to five Hoaries in a flock of 300 Commons. Please let us know of any Redpoll reports.

A male EURASIAN WIGEON is being seen in the pond on the Coast Guard property along Ocean Drive. An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL continues to be seen sporadically at the shell pile along Ocean Drive. A pair of adult PEREGRINES has been seen recently hanging around the water tower on the Magnesite property at the end of Sunset Blvd., and an imm. NORTHERN GOSHAWK continues to terrorize other birds in the vicinity of Cape May Point state park.

The spring influx of RED-THROATED LOONS has apparently started, as 45 were seen in the rips off the State Park on Feb. 6. Six SNOW BUNTINGS were on the beach in Cape May Point on Feb. 10, and as many as ten FOX SPARROWS have been frequenting the feeders at CMBO, along with at least two BROWN THRASHERS, a HERMIT THRUSH, and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER.

Finally, a plea with the return of harsh weather: watch out for AMERICAN WOODCOCKS and other birds as they come out to the roadsides to feed. We are particularly interested in hearing of any concentrations of Woodcocks along roads.

[program 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 [(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 Pat Sutton, CMBO; 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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