Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/15/1996
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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. 15, 1996 include sightings of BROWN PELICAN, ICELAND GULL, COMMON REDPOLL, and wintering EURASIAN WIGEON, LARK SPARROW, RED-NECKED GREBE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, news and announcements.

A BROWN PELICAN, extremely rare in Winter, was seen in flight near Cape May Canal bridge on Feb. 12, and was later found feeding near the docks at the Lobster House Restaurant.

A first winter ICELAND GULL was seen Feb. 13 on Ocean Drive near the base of the toll bridge. There were 2 adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS there at the same time.

A COMMON REDPOLL was seen briefly in the Villas today, Feb.15. A EURASIAN WIGEON is still present at the Coast Guard Ponds on Ocean Drive; it was last reported on Feb. 10. A LARK SPARROW continues to frequent a feeder in the 400 block of 3d Street in West Cape May.

Two RED-NECKED GREBES can still be found in Mill Creek Marina along Ocean Drive just east of the Parkway bridge over the Canal. A second-winter LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was also there Feb. 10. A NORTHERN SHRIKE is still being seen, although inconsistently, at the Beanery, right along Bayshore Rd. Other interesting sightings include a NORTHERN GOSHAWK at the Meadows Feb. 9; COMMON EIDERS at Stone Harbor Point on Feb. 11; up to 20 TREE SPARROWS at the Ferry Terminal on Feb. 14; a flight of 3000 SNOW GEESE on Feb. 11, including 45 "Blue Geese".

Road-killed SAW-WHET OWLS are still being found; the tally as of Feb. 10 was up to 82 birds, mostly found along the Parkway in the southern part of the state. If that many have been hit by cars there must be large numbers wintering in the state, especially after the major fall migration.

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, and actually any road that takes you out onto the salt marshes.

Nature Notes: BALD EAGLES and RED-TAILED HAWKS have paired up and can be seen sitting close together, often in the vicinity of their nests.

[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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