Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 3/21/1996
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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 Mar. 21, 1996 include sightings of RED-NECKED GREBE, EURASIAN WIGEON, earliest arrival date ever for ROYAL TERN, announcements, nature notes, and news.

On Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, the CMBO bookstore will be having a sale, with lots of special deals on used optics (some demos/test models), as well as birding books, T-shirts, feeders, and more. Sorry, no phone orders. The store will be open 9-5 both days.

A RED-NECKED GREBE continues to be seen in Bunker Pond, in front of the hawk watch at the state park. It was seen today, March 21.

EURASIAN WIGEON was seen in South Cape May Meadows March 18; this may or may not be the same bird that wintered at Ocean Drive. The Meadows also had an AMERICAN BITTERN March 18-21.

A ROYAL TERN was seen at East Point, Delaware Bayshore, today, March 21; this is the earliest Spring record for New Jersey, breaking the old record by nine days.

Other spring arrivals this week: EASTERN PHOEBE was at Kimbles Beach on March 15. BLUE-WINGED TEAL arrived, with 4 in the Meadows March 18 and 2 at Fishing Creek March 20. SNOWY EGRETS were seen March 20; one in the Meadows, and one along the parkway at Beasley's Point.

OSPREY and LAUGHING GULLS are being seen daily now. GREAT EGRETS have been seen in several places. Along the Bayshore north of the ferry terminal, there are thousands of SCOTERS, mostly Black and Surf, as well as hundreds of GREATER SCAUP and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.

SHORT-EARED OWLS are still present; one was seen perched beside the dike at Brigantine on March 16, and 3 were at Jakes Landing March 18. RED-THROATED LOONS are staging in Delaware bay in good numbers now.

Local nature notes: PIED-BILLED GREBES were calling on Lily Lake March 20. NORTHERN GANNETS are beginning to migrate north, with 100 + counted yesterday. BLUEBIRDS are staking claims to nest sites. BALD EAGLES are on eggs and Great Horned Owl chicks have hatched. WOODCOCKS are displaying in weedy fields, with starting time as late at 6:30 now. Wood frogs and Spring Peepers are calling.

March 16-18 were warm, and triggered emergence of the first SPRING AZURES and JUVENAL'S DUSKY-WINGS, as well as the flight of overwintering MOURNING CLOAKS. These were seen in Belleplain State Forest and at Beaver Swamp Wildlife Management Area.

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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 office at 609-884-2736 or a send a request for info to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area, do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.

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 (llarson@pucc.princeton.edu).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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