Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/20/2003

You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, February 20, 2003. Highlights from the last week include LONG-BILLED CURLEW, RED PHALAROPE, LITTLE GULL, BLACK-HEADED GULL, ICELAND GULL, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, COMMON EIDER, RED-NECKED GREBE, HORNED LARK, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, and GREAT HORNED OWL.

The North Wildwood LONG-BILLED CURLEW remains present through at least Feb. 19th. Best viewing for this bird is at lower tides from the west end of 26th, 19th, 17th, and 14th Streets in North Wildwood.

A single RED PHALAROPE was seen at the edge of Delaware Bay off the end of Cardinal Ave., in Villas, on Feb. 18th and 19th. Four RED PHALAROPES were seen off the Second Ave. jetty in Cape May on Feb. 19th, and at least 3 were seen offshore from around the Convention Center in Cape May on Feb. 20th.

At least 4 LITTLE GULLS, three adults and one first winter bird, are being seen around Cape May, with sightings from Poverty Beach, the Cape May Convention Center, St. Mary's jetty in Cape May Point, the Concrete Ship (Sunset Beach), and the Cape May ferry terminal. An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL has also been around, seen off Cape May Point on Feb. 20th, at the Second Ave. jetty on Feb. 18th, at the Concrete Ship on Feb. 15th, and off St. Mary's on Feb. 14th. An ICELAND GULL and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were seen along the Cape May waterfront on Feb. 19th, with an ICELAND GULL also seen off Poverty Beach on Feb. 18th.

Two COMMON EIDERS were at the Second Ave. jetty in Cape May on Feb. 15th.

Two RED-NECKED GREBES were seen off Poverty Beach on Feb. 14th, and observers watched these birds move west toward Cape May Point.

About 75 HORNED LARKS were seen in the fields around the junction of Stevens and Bayshore in West Cape May on Feb. 18th and 19th, along with 3 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS. About 20 HORNED LARKS were seen along Texas Ave. near the Cape May harbor on Feb. 18th.

An easily observed GREAT HORNED OWL nest is on an old Osprey nest in Avalon, visible from shore at Moran's Marina (14th and Ocean Drive).

Only 2 spaces remain for a pelagic trip scheduled out of Cape May on March 2nd with a weather date of March 9th. A pelagic trip scheduled for March 15 from Lewes, DE, is currently sold out but spaces may open if the trip switches to a larger vessel. For information on these and other regional pelagic trips, contact See Life Paulagics at 215-234-6805 or check the web site at http://www.paulagics.com

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://cmbo.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist New Jersey Audubon Society Cape May Bird Observatory, Northwood Center 701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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