Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/5/1998
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending February 5 include sightings of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, COMMON EIDER, MARBLED GODWIT, local nature notes, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

An announcement to folks who've registered for the "Winter Raptors" field trips, Friday, February 6, and Saturday, February 7 -- they are a GO! See you there! This Northeaster will have blown through by Friday and raptors will be hungry ... so, we should see a lot.

A brief courtesy announcement to birders: the Forsythe NWR, known to many as "Brig," will be closed each Thursday through February 12th.

The GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW continues at the Cape May National golf course, seen this week on February 1. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT is also being seen there.

A COMMON EIDER was off Stone Harbor Point on February 1.

Up to 7 MARBLED GODWITS are present at Hereford Inlet. They can sometimes be seen at lower tides from the free bridge, and at other times Stone Harbor Point is a better vantage point. Also there are 4 WILLETS and up to a dozen WESTERN SANDPIPERS.

During the first coastal storm this week, a count of 52 LESSER YELLOWLEGS was made in a depression near the Acme in North Cape May.

Up to 4 TRICOLORED HERONS were seen this week, with 1 near Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest and three on Nummy Island. LITTLE BLUE HERONS were seen near Two-Mile Landing and along Stone Harbor Boulevard. Sunset Lake also had 40 HORNED GREBES, 130+ RUDDY DUCKS, both LOONS, and some GREATER SCAUP on February 3.

The South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) still has a TREE SWALLOW and a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, while an AMERICAN BITTERN was there on January 30.

Local Nature Notes follow: One can't help but wonder how these 2 back-to-back northeasters have affected wildlife. Great Horned Owls should be on eggs now. They were extremely vocal after the first storm and its 55-60 mile an hour gusts. Probably some stick nests were blown out of trees. The high tides have no doubt affected some marsh birds. On still, cool mornings woodcock have been heard "peenting." Bald Eagles are also early nesters and will be on eggs by mid to late February. Keep your eyes open and be sure to report any nesting behavior. Each year one or two new pairs of eagles are discovered!

The Cape May Bird Observatory's winter program has a number of special preregistration Winter programs offered: A program on "Backyard Terrorists at the Feeder" and how to cope with them will be offered by Chris Baker on February 7. A "5-Day Birding Workshop for Hawks, Owls, and Waterfowl" with Clay & Pat Sutton, and Pete Dunne, February 11-15, still has space. Our Member's Night on February 18 will feature a program by Pat & Clay Sutton on their incredible summer vacation with Pete & Linda Dunne to "Alaska's Arctic NWR." And an "Ornithology 101" Course will begin March 3rd, every Tuesday evening for 6 weeks. Two different Sunday morning bird walks, requiring no preregistration, are occurring now: one at Cape May Point 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and one at CMBO's new Center in Goshen from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. If you are not a member and would like a copy of the Winter Program Schedule with all the details, stop by either center or call us at 609-861-0700.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North. The center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature store, and a wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor, featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer, and carvers. CMBO's Northwood Center at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. Both the CMBO Center in Goshen and the Northwood Center in Cape May Point are open 10-5, every day except Tuesday & Wednesday.

The 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, and the Observatory, call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties and near shore waters. Updates are made on Thursday evenings, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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