You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of
the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.
Highlights for the week ending Feb. 2 include: FRANKLIN'S
GULL, SNOWY OWL, continuing RED-NECKED GREBE, BLACK-HEADED
GULL, EURASIAN WIGEON, EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, MARBLED
GODWIT, and SPOTTED TOWHEE, and local nature notes.
Announcement update Feb. 3: The Feb. 4 owl field trip has
been cancelled due to weather and potentially hazardous
driving. Call CMBO to reschedule or receive a refund.
A first-winter FRANKLIN'S GULL continues to be seen at the
McDonald's parking lot at the end of the Expressway in
Atlantic City. There is also a LAUGHING GULL at the same
A SNOWY OWL was seen at the South Cape May Meadows beach on Jan.
28; it was present until sunset but as is typical in Cape
May it was gone the following day.
The Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive continue to have
COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL, EURASIAN WIGEON, & EURASIAN
GREEN-WINGED TEAL; there are 3 Eurasian Wigeon, two males
and a female. The Black-headed Gull has become much less
regular but was seen today, Feb. 2.
One or two MARBLED GODWITS are still present on the mud
flats near Nummy Island toll bridge. The area also holds
a WILLET and a WHIMBREL. A RED-NECKED GREBE is also being
seen in the vicinity.
The "SPOTTED TOWHEE" continues on Sea Grove Ave., near the
intersection with Lighthouse, in Cape May Point. Other
highlights this week included a female REDHEAD at Lily Lake
as recently as today, Feb. 2; and a flock of about 30 TREE
SWALLOWS at the Meadows on a regular basis. AMERICAN
BITTERN was in the Meadows Jan. 29, and a RAZORBILL flew by
offshore there on Jan. 31.
A belated report came in of a SNOWY OWL found on Jan. 26 on the
beach at Avalon, at 38th st. This belated report was especially
interesting with the discovery of the Snowy at the Meadows. Other
owl news this week inlcudes the sighting of a Long-eared Owl in Goshen
near Goshen Landing. It continues to be a great winter for
SHORT-EARED OWL. Good spots to watch them hunting at dusk include:
Jakes Landing in Cape May County; Hansey Creek, Turkey Point,
and Fortescue in Cumberland Co.; Leeds Point Rd., Brigantine NWR,
and Corbin City WMA in Atlantic Co. CMBO's Owl field trip on Jan. 28
encountered 5 Short-ears at Jakes Landing as well as several Rough-legged
The CMBO Seawatch at the north end of Avalon finally is complete;
totals will be reported on an upcoming hotline.
Local nature notes follow.
Each late-winter and early-spring loons gather in the Delaware
Bay before migrating north. This staging often brings hundreds of loons
within an easy view from Cape May, especially at the Second Ave. jetty.
The first big group was seen Feb. 1 this year, when 12 Red-throated
Loos were seen off the point.
The back bay waters gehind the barrier islands of Stone Harbor and
Avalon are again full of winter waterfowl, including Brant, Buffleheads
and Common Loons. Numbers of Oldsquaw can now be found on the oceanfront
and in Cape May Harbor; try viewing from the Lobster House Restaurant
parking lot. Good numbers of American Oystercatchers are wintering
in Hereford Inlet and can be seen from Nummy's Island.
The spring-like weather has triggered a spring-like reaction in birds.
Red-winged Blackbirds were singing on Feb. 1. Red-tailed Hawks were
copulating along the Maurice R. on Jan. 26. A female Redhead and a male
Ring-necked Duck have taken a fancy to each other, and are being
seen on Lily Lake near CMBO. Red-shouldered Hawks are paired up and
on territory, and calling to each other. Great Horned Owls are on their
nests; a pair can be heard from Seagrove Ave. as well as from the
Lighthouse Pond in the State park. The call being heard sounds like a
female giving a food-begging call.
A mini-pelagic trip has been scheduled for Saturday, March
11, 8 AM to noon. For more information, contact Dave
Githens (609) 884-3712 for more details.
Our next Member's Night is scheduled for Wed., Feb. 15 and
will feature Paul Lehman, editor of the ABA's publication,
_Birding_. Paul will give a slide program on "Migrant and
Vagrant Traps in North America."
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 (email@example.com).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.