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 March 16 include sightings
of returning spring migrants, like PIPING PLOVER, OSPREY, &
PHOEBE; LITTLE GULL; RED-NECKED GREBE; local nature notes
With all the incredible sightings on March 11 on a fishing
trip aboard Capt. Fred Ascoli's Miss Chris, out of Cape
May, you might want to consider going along next weekend.
On March 11, highlights included 25 PUFFINS, 2 RED
PHALAROPES, a YELLOW-LEGGED GULL, and 2 ORCA WHALES. Call
(609) 884-3939 for details and reservations.
Spring migration has begun at the cape. Last week on March
8 the first LAUGHING GULL appeared, and sightings have been
almost daily since. March 10 brought the first PINE WARBLER
and E. PHOEBE to the point; since then, Pine Warblers have
been seen daily. BLUE-WINGED TEAL arrived on March 11 at
Pond Creek Marsh. The first OSPREY was seen March 13 at
Cape May city. The South Cape May Meadows beach produced
the first PIPING PLOVER on March 14, and today, March 16,
saw the return of SNOWY EGRET at Lily Lake.
A RED-NECKED GREBE was still present near Hereford Inlet
off North Wildwood on March 15. A LITTLE GULL was seen at
the Second Ave. jetty on March 12. EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED
TEAL and 3 EURASIAN WIGEON are still present on the Coast
Guard pond on Ocean Drive; there is also a EURASIAN
GREEN-WINGED TEAL at Thompson's Beach on the Delaware
AM. WOODCOCK were thick at Higbee Beach on March 11 at
about 6:30 pm; on March 13, several were heard at 11 PM in
the light of the nearly-full moon.
Spring hawk flights at the Cape are triggered by the same
northwest winds following a cold front, that trigger the
fall flights. On March 13, 25 TURKEY VULTURES, 2 RED-TAILED
HAWKS, a COOPER'S HAWK, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK were seen
over Cape May.
RED-THROATED LOON numbers are building in Delaware Bay;
they stage here before migrating north. Several hundred
were seen March 11 off Cape May Point.
An announcement: The Cape May National Wildlife Refuge is
seeking volunteers to help post the refuge's properties.
Call (609) 463-0994 to sign up.
Local nature notes:
Many breeding birds are singing at dawn these days.
Woodpeckers are drumming on territory. Butterflies are
emerging from their winter dormancy. MOURNING CLOAK and
EASTERN COMMA were seen March 12, and QUESTION MARKS were
first seen March 13. Other butterflies which winter as
caterpillars or chrysalis are emerging too; ORANGE SULPHUR,
first seen March 11; CLOUDED WHITE, March 13; and SPRING
AZURE, March 13 at Belleplain State Forest.
Fish are also migrating now. Fishermen have set their
menhaden and shad nets in the bay. Birds such as Osprey
take advantage of this migration, and so do Harbor
Porpoises, seen March 11 and 13.
[dated material omitted]
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.