Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 3/19/1998
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 March 19 include sightings of ICELAND GULL, EURASIAN WIGEON, local nature notes, and information about our upcoming programs and field trips.

An ICELAND GULL was a fly-by at Cape May Point State Park on March 14.

Not reported for awhile, the EURASIAN WIGEON was seen this week at the Coast Guard ponds, where it usually spends the winter. It was seen on March 14 & 15.

Hidden Valley Ranch produced a PALM WARBLER, 7 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, and 2 FOX SPARROWS on March 15.

RED-THROATED LOONS have begun to stage off of Cape May Point, with good numbers seen on March 17. Forster's Terns, a few Gannets. and some Bonaparte's Gulls were also present.

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was seen at mile marker .5 along the Parkway on March 15.

Sixteen HARLEQUIN DUCKS highlighted CMBO's Duck Roundup at Barnegat on March 13. Displaying Horned Larks were also evident.

The newly diked area at Bivalve, Cumberland County had a 1,000 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 3 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 90 SHOVELERS, 65 GADWALL, and 45 AMERICAN WIGEON on March 17. Thirteen CANVASBACKS were on the saltmarsh side of the Heislerville impoundments on the same day.

A quick note to participants registered for Saturday, March 21st's "Wintering Eagles By Boat on the Maurice River" trip: a tough call right now as weather forecasts are changing. We are planning to go rain or shine; the boat does have enclosed viewing decks for protection against the rain. If you are concerned about the weather, call Bob Carlough, the boat captain Friday night or Saturday morning. Please do not call him before Friday night, since he won't know what the weather at that point. His number is 609-884-3100. Or call CMBO at 609-861-0700 on Saturday morning and the boat captain will have briefed us by then.

Local Nature Notes follow: The early taste of spring back in late February mislead many of us into thinking it would be an early spring. Not so with the wet and cold weather we've been having for several weeks now. Despite bad weather, a few warm days have produced butterflies. A Mourning Cloak was seen on March 17th. A Cabbage White was seen the same day. A pair of Eastern Bluebirds have been inspecting the boxes at our Center in Goshen since March 15th. Red-tailed Hawks are courting still. Great Horned Owlets are growing, having hatched at the end of February. Flowering Quince is blooming; hummingbirds will be next, usually arriving in mid-April. Daffodils and crocuses are in bloom. Day lilies are up about 7".

The Cape May Bird Observatory's upcoming preregistration winter programs include a six-week "Ornithology 101" Course that began March 3rd and runs through April 7th every Tuesday evening for 6 weeks, CMBO's "Wintering Eagles By Boat on the Maurice River" trips are full but additional Saturday & Sunday "Bald Eagle Cruises" in March are being offered by The Skimmer -- tell them you learned about the trips from CMBO and a portion of the proceeds go back to us, and a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" March 28 & 29.

And don't forget to mark your calendars for CMBO's SPRING OPTICS SALE, March 28 & 29 to be held at CMBO's Center for Research & Education in Goshen. Sorry, no phone orders. You need to be here in person those two days to get great deals.

There are also two different Sunday morning bird walks, requiring no preregistration -- 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. Maurice River Bald Eagle Cruises are being offered by The Skimmer every Saturday & Sunday, two 2-hour trips each day, one at 10 a.m. and one at 1 p.m. To register call the boat directly at 609-884-3100 and let them know you learned about the trips through CMBO; a portion of the proceeds go back to CMBO. If you are not a member and would like a copy of the Winter or Spring 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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