Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 3/20/1997
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 March 20 include sightings of LITTLE GULL, SNOWY OWL, an announcement about CMBO's ANNUAL SPRING OPTICS SALE, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's other upcoming programs and field trips.

Two adult and one immature LITTLE GULLS were seen both March 16 and 17 off Cape May Point.

The SNOWY OWL continues at Forsythe NWR It was seen March 20, although it was missed by observers on Saturday and Sunday. It is still being seen from the east dike. Keep us posted of your sightings.

The CMBO Barnegat to Brigantine Duck roundups on March 15 and 16 had the following highlights: At Barnegat Light there were 13 HARLEQUIN DUCKS on the 15th and 15 the following day and Iceland Gull both days. At Brig Short-eared Owl was seen both days and BALD & GOLDEN EAGLES seen on the 15th. THREE BLUE-WINGED TEAL were seen on the 15th.

PINE WARBLERS have returned in good numbers to breeding locales like Jake' Landing and Belleplain State Forest. EASTERN PHOEBES have been seen in a few places with one on Cape May Point on the 15th. Two PIPING PLOVER were on the beach at the State Park on March 16. The feeders at CMBO had FOX SPARROW and PURPLE FINCH on the 16th. A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was on the beach at the end of Coral Street on the Point on the 17th.

Eric Stiles of the NJ Endangered & Nongame Species Program shares that 12 pairs of BALD EAGLES are actively nesting in New Jersey this spring so far. A pair on the Wading River laid eggs in late January and those eggs hatched March 7th. And the Stow Creek pair just laid their eggs March 10th. One of the adults from the East Creek pair in Belleplain State Forest has been seen at dawn recently perched on the back side of the lake.

Local Nature Notes follow: With the more wintry weather this week, butterfly sighting were down, although early in the week a few Spring Azures ,Question Marks and Morning Cloaks were seen. The sandy roads through Belleplain State Forest are good places to check on warmer days.. Wood Frogs giving their "quack-like" can be heard at Jakes Landing . A din of Spring Peepers peeping can also be heard now. Numbers of Clapper Rails are calling at dusk at places like Jakes Landing. Daffodils are blooming. Red-winged Blackbirds are giving their "konk-er-eee" spring song, Mourning Doves are cooing, Robins and Cardinals are singing. Great Horned Owls are vocal once more, being heard briefly just at dusk. They should have young now, having laid their eggs in late January.

CMBO sponsored "Maurice River Bald Eagle Cruises" will be offered every Saturday and Sunday, March through early April (weather dependent), twice daily (a morning trip from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and an afternoon trip from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.) The boat leaves from a dock in Millville. To register for these CMBO sponsored trips and learn further details, call 609-884-3100. Be sure to say you learned of the trips through CMBO or NJ Audubon, since then a portion of the proceeds will benefit CMBO.

Mark your calendars! CMBO's Annual Spring Optics Sale will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 22 & 23 at the Cape May Bird Observatory's Northwood Center in Cape May Point.. Some highlighted optics for the clearance sale include the following: 1 new Leica 10x42 roof for $999 (regular member's price is $1,145) 2 Leica 10x42 demos (with warranty) for $880 each 1 Leica 8x42 demo (with warranty) for $845 (retail market value is $1,050) 10 Nikon Field Scopes ED 78mm for $750 each (retail market value is $1,100) 30 Nikon Spotting Scopes with 15-45 zoom x 60mm for $275 each (retail market value is $447) 100 Nikon 8x21 Sprint binoculars for $45 each (retail market value is $95) 1 NEW Bausch & Lomb Elite 7x36 for $775 1 used Bausch & Lomb Elite 78mm spotting scope with 20x wide angle eyepiece for $400 (with an extra zoom eyepiece for $100) 2 Velbon Tripods for $40 each Nikon 10x50 Kestrel (field test model) for $100 ($290 is the list price) Nikon 7x35 Lemur (field test model) for $75 ($237 is the list price) AND ABOUT A HUNDRED OR SO MORE! The rules for this ANNUAL SPRING OPTICS SALE follow: No phone orders! -- No down payments or holds! -- FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. March 22 & 23, doors open each morning at 9:00 a.m. and will remain open until 5:00 p.m. See you there!

Some of CMBO's upcoming programs follow: Winter programs include weekly "Winter Bird Walks" every Sunday, through March 30, meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. The "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" will be next March 29-30. Other upcoming programs include a "Poor Man's Pelagic" trip on March 29 and on April 5th a "Shower for the Birth of our new Model Backyard Habitat" here at the New Center in Goshen and a "Binoculars & Spotting Scopes For Birders" workshop at Cape May Point with CMBO's bookstore manager, Louise Zemaitis. Beginning in April CMBO will be offering 7 different bird and/or butterfly walks each week. Pick up a copy of CMBO's spring program schedule for details or call CMBO at 609-861-0700 to learn more about our programs.

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 701 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 full time for visitors until April, but many of the indoor winter programs will be held there.

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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