Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/26/2004
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 26. Highlights from the last week include EARED GREBE, RAZORBILL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, COMMON EIDER, KING EIDER, RED-NECKED GREBE, MANX SHEARWATER, ICELAND GULL, and GLAUCOUS GULL.

An EARED GREBE was found on Feb. 23rd with 65 or more HORNED GREBES in the ocean just off the south end of Strathmere, Cape May County. (Strathmere is located between Ocean City and Sea Isle City.) The bird was straight out from the south end of "town" where the coastal road has a northbound, small, green sign welcoming one to Strathmere, while southbound there is a similar small green sign welcoming one to "Whale Beach." A COMMON EIDER was found in the ocean nearby, at the south end of Strathmere, also on Feb. 23rd.

Sea birds are continuing to gather around Cape May. A RAZORBILL was in the Ocean off Cape May Point State Park on Feb. 26th, and 2 were seen here on the 21st. A female HARLEQUIN DUCK was seen nearby, off the St. Mary's jetty, on Feb. 23rd and 26th, and two COMMON EIDERS were here Feb. 20th and 21st. Six COMMON EIDERS and an immature male KING EIDER were seen near the Cold Spring Inlet (the entrance to the Cape May Harbor) on Feb. 24th, by an observer at Poverty Beach. Two RED-NECKED GREBES were seen in the Cape May harbor on Feb. 23rd from the end of Texas Ave., and one was at Mill Creek Marina, off Ocean Dr., also on the 23rd.

A MANX SHEARWATER was seen from the Cape May Lewes Ferry on Feb. 21st.

At least one ICELAND GULL and one GLAUCOUS GULL continue to be seen sporadically around the southernmost toll bridge on Ocean Drive (near the clam processing plants); the ICELAND GULL was reported on Feb. 21st, and both were seen on the 20th.

Other noteworthy birds found around Cape May during the last week include 5 CANVASBACKS and 11 AMERICAN COOTS in Bunker Pond Feb. 24th through the 26th, 10,000 SCOTERS of all three species in the mouth of Delaware Bay, a SNOW BUNTING at Sunset Beach on the 23rd, an AMERICAN BITTERN at the South Cape May Meadows on the 21st, and two AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS at a West Cape May feeder through at least the 20th.

A GOLDEN EAGLE is being regularly seen with BALD EAGLES at Bear Swamp and surrounding areas, Cumberland County. SHORT-EARED OWLS and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS continue to be seen regularly from the end of Jakes Landing Rd. AMERICAN WOODCOCKS have begun displaying in many South Jersey fields.

A Cape May pelagic trip on Sunday, March 7, is full. For waiting list information or to learn of future trips, contact See Life Paulagics at 215-234-6805 or see their web site at http://www.paulagics.com

Please note that the "free bridge" connecting Nummy Island to south Stone Harbor is now closed until further notice for construction estimated date for reopening is late May. Nummy can still be accessed from North Wildwood Blvd. drive past the "road closed local traffic only" sign and over the bridge).

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://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 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 BI RDING!

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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