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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/6/1997
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 6 include sightings of WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, LITTLE GULL, EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, an announcement about an upcoming Pelagic Trip, local nature notes, news that Pete Dunne will offer an additional Barnegat to Brigantine DUCK ROUND-UP field trip on Sunday, March 16 because the Saturday trip is full and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.

You've reached our new CAPE MAY BIRDING HOTLINE phone number, 609-861-0466. Make a note of it and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this change may have caused you.

A WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was seen in Tuckerton on February 4. The bird has apparently been present for a week. It is on Rt. 9 at Tip Seaman Park in Lake Bohatcong.

A LITTLE GULL was seen on February 4 off Alexander Ave. in Cape May Point, while another was off 44th Street in Avalon.

A EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL continues to be seen sporadically in the Coast Guard Ponds along Ocean Drive.

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen at Hidden Valley Ranch on February 1, while another continues in the South Cape May Meadows, seen this week on January 31. The Meadows also is holding a pair of over wintering BLUE-WINGED TEAL.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continues in West Cape May on 2nd Avenue off Bayshore Road. Two were present on the 1st, while one was seen their on the 5th. Up to 30 CHIPPING SPARROWS are also present there.

Some unusual over wintering birds included two BALTIMORE ORIOLES, two PINE WARBLERS, and a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT seen along Jakes Landing Road on February 1. The orioles and warblers were seen in the large pine grove on the left.

Lily Lake is still a waterfowl hot spot. On February 6th it held: 18 REDHEADS, 4 CANVASBACKS, a few COOTS, PIED-BILLED GREBES and RING-NECKED DUCKS, and lots of AMERICAN WIGEON.

The SNOWY OWL continues to be seen at Forsythe NWR, also known as Brigantine. It's been there since about mid-December. Thanks to all of you who called in your sightings this week; we don't want to begin taking such a regular Snowy Owl for granted. The bird seems to be an immature male Snowy Owl and up until now it has was found in the impoundment in the southeast corner of the East Pool. But on December 2nd reports came in of it visible from the same place, but sitting on the marsh about 50 feet outside the impoundments -- in other words with Atlantic City in the background. Keep alert, it can stay quite hidden in a nook out of the wind and when there was ice, it looked like one more chunk of ice -- until it blinked, that is. Thank you for continuing to keep up posted here at CMBO of your Snowy Owl sightings by calling either 884-2736 or 861-0700.

CMBO's Sunday Winter Bird Walks have been enjoying the build up of RED-THROATED LOONS in the Delaware Bay, BONAPARTE'S GULLS feeding in the rips, jetties adorned with PURPLE SANDPIPER, RUDDY TURNSTONES, and SANDERLINGS, and the waterfowl show on Lily Lake. Red-throated Loons stage in the Delaware Bay each late winter and early spring and they've already begun to gather. Over 200 were seen on February 2nd from the Cape May Point beach front scanning out into the Delaware Bay. 50 Bonaparte's Gulls were enjoyed the same morning, some feeding offshore and others close around the jetties.

CMBO's Friday evening "Hawk & Owl Watches" and Saturday "All About Owls Workshops" continue to enjoy Great Horned Owls at dusk at Jakes Landing. With nightfall getting later and later, watchers may have to wait until @ 5:45 or 6:00 p.m. to see the Great Horneds come out to perches on the marsh. After the heavy rains the evening of February 4th, though Great Horneds were hungry the next night and one was seen as early as 5:30 p.m. when there was still lots of light to enjoy it. Female Great Horned Owls are on eggs now and any large stick nest is a likely nest site. Great Horneds are our earliest nesting bird -- being predators they have an easy time in winter finding food, especially when many other creatures are struggling to survive the winter hardships and become more vulnerable.

A brief announcement follows: The boat, the Miss Chris, out of Cape May is running a Pelagic Trip on Sunday, February 16th, from 5 AM to 5 PM. The cost is $50/person. The boat will be going 30-40 miles offshore and will be chumming to lure in seabirds. In the past this trip has enjoyed great looks at alcids, Razorbills, Great Skua 2 years, Puffin, and Common Murre 3 times. To register or for more information, call Captain Fred Ascoli at 609-884-3939.

Local Nature Notes follow: American Woodcock were displaying predawn on February 3rd. Hope they know something we don't about spring! Red-tailed Hawks are courting now too. Pairs are being seen sitting side by side and males are doing their roller coaster flight display for nearby females. American Holly trees, heavy with berries earlier this winter, have been keeping flocks of robins fed this winter. Female Great Horned Owls are on eggs now. Bald Eagles may be on nests soon too.

Some of CMBO's upcoming programs follow: Due to its popularity Pete Dunne will be offering another "Barnegat to Brigantine DUCK ROUND-UP" field trip on Sunday, March 16, since the Saturday trip is full. The trip runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., beginning at Barnegat and ending at Brigantine. Cost: $15 members, $25 nonmembers. Call CMBO at 609-861-0700 to register. Payment holds your place. Send payment to CMBO, Center for Research & Education, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Other upcoming winter programs include includes weekly "Owl & Hawk Watches at Jakes Landing" every Friday, now through March 14th at 4:00 p.m.; weekly "Winter Bird Walks" every Sunday, now through March, meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. Our next Members' Night is scheduled for February 19th at the NEW CMBO in Goshen from 7:30-9 p.m., where Vince Elia will present a slide program on "Winter Gulls." Our final "All About Owls Workshops" will be offered: February 15. The "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" will be taught February 22-23 and again March 29-30. Other upcoming programs include an "Oldsquaws In Love" Field Trip on February 22, a "Woodcock Dance" outing on March 8, a "Poor Man's Pelagic" trip on March 29, AND MUCH MORE! Call CMBO at 609-861-0700 to learn more about the programs and to register.

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 our new Center for Research & Education at 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 birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point, open every day except Tues. & Wednesday, 9-5. Our new Research and Education Center will not be open fulltime for visitors until April, but many of the indoor winter programs will be held there. Eurasian Green-winged Teal, Orange-crowned Warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow, an announcement about an upcoming Pelagic Trip, local nature notes, news that Pete Dunne will offer an additional "Barnegat to Brigantine Duck Round-up" field trip on Sunday, March 16, since the Saturday trip is full, and news of CMBO's other upcoming programs and field trips.

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 or on Tuesday and Wednesday to 609-861-0700. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

 
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