Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/21/2002

You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This recording was made on Thursday, February 21, 2002. Highlights from the last week include BLACK-HEADED GULL, SNOWY OWL, LARK SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, and SANDHILL CRANE and SANDHILL x COMMON CRANE hybrids.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen again on Feb. 18th at the Cape May - Lewes ferry terminal, but there were no reported sightings of LITTLE GULLS here during the last week.

One or two SNOWY OWLS continue to be seen by some visitors to the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, perhaps better known as Brigantine. Two birds were reported on Feb. 16th, and a single bird on Feb. 17th.

A LARK SPARROW, first seen Dec. 16th, continues to reside near Cape May Court House. Our most recent report is from Feb. 20th. From Garden State Parkway exit 10, go west on Stone Harbor Blvd., which crosses Rt. 9 and becomes Court House - South Dennis Road. Go 0.6 miles beyond the traffic light at Winding Way (Ames and Super Fresh on the right here) and look for a small "Firewood for Sale" sign on the left. Park opposite that sign, on the right, and cross the 100-foot wide lawn to a brushy area; on the far side of the brush is an area with piles of garden debris - this is where the LARK SPARROW is usually found.

Cape May Point's CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was most recently reported on Feb. 16th, at its usual location in a yard at the junction of Coral and Cambridge.

A small flock of cranes with an apparent mix of COMMON CRANE, SANDHILL CRANE, and/or hybrids between the two species continues at Bostwick Lake on the Salem/Cumberland Co. border near Deerfield. On the 19th three birds were observed, one SANDHILL CRANE and two hybrids.

Ocean-loving birds are staging and starting to head north. Large numbers of NORTHERN GANNETS, SCOTERS, and RED-THROATED LOONS have been seen from Cape May Point and along the ocean coast north to at least the Avalon Seawatch. Other signs of spring include the sighting of an OSPREY on Feb. 15th and daily AMERICAN WOODCOCK courtship displays at various locations around Cape May.

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 that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.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 Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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

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