Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/28/2002

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 28, 2002. Highlights from the last week include WHITE-WINGED DOVE, LARK SPARROW, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, COMMON TEAL, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and PURPLE FINCH.

A WHITE-WINGED DOVE was found on Seagrove Ave. near Cape May Point on Feb. 25th, and was seen again on the 26th and 27th. The bird is most often found roosting with Mourning Doves, anywhere from 615 Seagrove to 629 Seagrove. The bird disappears from this area for long periods birders havent yet found its other haunts.

A LARK SPARROW, first seen Dec. 16th, continues to reside near Cape May Court House. Our most recent report is from Feb. 25th. 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.

A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was seen at the Lark Sparrow site on Feb. 23rd. Another NORTHERN GOSHAWK was seen at the Rea Farm, also on Feb. 23rd.

Cape May Point's CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was most recently reported on Feb. 27th, at its usual location in a yard at the junction of Coral and Cambridge. It is most often seen on the ground beneath the bird feeders.

A COMMON TEAL, more properly the Eurasian race of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, was seen on Feb. 26th at the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (Brigantine).

A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen on Feb. 22nd at 50th St. and the Beach in Avalon.

A PURPLE FINCH was seen at Cape May Point State Park Feb. 23rd and again Feb. 25th. Northern finches have been very scarce around Cape May since the end of fall migration.

There will be a pelagic trip from Cape May on Sunday, March 3. Contact Mary Gustafson for details or to register: Phone - 301-497-1629; Cell: 302-559-5640; E-mail: live4birds@aol.com. See the internet version of this hotline for more details.

< the details > CAPE MAY PELAGIC - SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2002 weather date March 10

General Info
Time: 5:00 AM to approx 5:00 PM (weather date is Sun, March 10)
Boat: Miss Chris, 65' fishing boat with full walk-around
Cost: $70
through February 27, Paul Guris,
days: 610-650-8600 x8345
E-mail: paulagics@netscape.net
after February 27, Mary Gustafson,
Cell: 302-559-5640
E-mail: live4birds@aol.com
Captain: Fred Ascoli, 609-884-3939

In case of inclement weather this trip may be cancelled by the Captain. Call Captain Fred at the number above, or Mary Gustafson on her cell phone for last minute weather cancellation information.

What We Hope to See: This trip has been run for well over a decade, and has produced good winter seabirds in the past. The primary focus will be alcids and past sightings include Razorbill almost every year, Dovekie several times (high of 733), Atlantic Puffin several times, Common Murre on almost half of the trips, and Thick-billed Murre once. Great Skua and Northern Fulmar have also been seen. Gannets and Kittiwakes are regular. We'll chum as we go to keep gulls, gannets, and hopefully a skua at the back of the boat. We also stop for any whales. This trip has produced Fin Whale several times and an incredible show by two Northern Right Whales in 1998. FYI for state listers, we will be in both NJ and DE waters.

Preparations: Be prepared for winter. Warm clothes are required and raingear is recommended both as a windbreaker and to protect from spray. You must provide your own food and beverages. The cabin is heated and there are separate men's and women's bathrooms. There will be experienced pelagic birders along who will gladly help beginners, but bring your field guides.

Directions: Travel south to the end of the Garden State Parkway. Continue south over the Cape May Bridge. Make the first right-hand turn after the bridge, between the Captain's Cove Restaurant and Tony's Pizza (approx. 500 feet). The boat is 1/2 block straight ahead.

Map to the boat: http://www.misschris.com/Directions.htm

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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