Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/23/1995
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service ofthe New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending Feb. 23 include: LITTLE GULL, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, SNOWY OWL, local nature notes and announcements.

Up to 3 LITTLE GULLS were seen off Cape May Point State Park today, Feb. 23. Two were adults and one a first-winter bird. A second-winter bird has also been seen this week.

A second-winter LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was at the Second Ave. Jetty on Feb. 21.

A SNOWY OWL was seen at Jake's Landing on Feb. 19. Apparently it was last seen floating down the creek on an ice chunk, heading towards the Delaware Bay. On Feb. 18, a SNOWY OWL was seen on a rooftop in Ocean City NJ, at 27th st. and Wesley Ave. No reports since.

An OSPREY was reported on Feb. 23 at a nest site just west of the Parkway near the Marine Sciences Consortium building north of Avalon. This is a good three weeks earlier than the first Osprey is usually seen.

A Feb. 19 pelagic trip aboard the Miss Chris was a huge success. Highlights included a GREAT SKUA, 3 COMMON MURRES, over 730 DOVEKIES, a NORTHERN FULMAR, a dozen RAZORBILLS, and 5 KITTIWAKES.

Jake's Landing has been a hotspot this winter for winter raptors; almost any visit produces two or three ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS. SHORT-EARED OWLS are also here in good numbers, better than any in recent memory. Reeds Beach, Manahawkin, Brigantine, Corbin City WMA, East Point, Hansey Creek, and Turkey Point are other good sites.

A mini-pelagic trip will leave Cape May Mar. 11 at 8 AM, lasting until noon. Call Dave Githens at 884-3712 for details.

Local nature notes: Spring has indeed sprung. An AMERICAN WOODCOCK was courting at 6 PM Feb. 15 at Goshen, and by Feb. 20 there were 4. Five pairs of BALD EAGLES are on their nests in Southern New Jersey, reported by the state non-game division. GREAT HORNED OWLS are starting to vocalize a bit now; this probably means their young have hatched. Hundreds of NORTHERN PINTAILS have arrived in local marshes to stage, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS have begun to sing.

Fine print: 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 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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