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 23 include sightings
of RUFFED GROUSE, SPOTTED TOWHEE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, and
EURASIAN WIGEON, returning spring migrants, local nature
notes and announcements.
A RUFFED GROUSE which has been reported on and off all
winter on the Red Trail in the Cape May Point State Park,
was seen again this past week. As odd as that sighting is,
an even more out-of-place RUFFED GROUSE was seen in the
dunes at Cape May Point near the Gingerbread Church.
Both the BLACK-HEADED GULL and the EURASIAN WIGEON continue
to be seen, as they have all winter, in the Coast Guard
Ponds along Ocean Drive. Likewise, the SPOTTED TOWHEE
continues on Seagrove Ave. just off Lighthouse Ave.
Migrants are on the move and spring is unfolding rapidly.
There are now thousands of LAUGHING GULLS being seen.
Reports have come in of six PIPING PLOVERS at the Nature
Conservancy's Cape May Meadows, and four were at Wildwood
Crest at the Coast Guard beach. EASTERN PHOEBE sightings
are almost daily now after the first on March 10. The first
GLOSSY IBIS appeared on March 18, and by the 22d 13 were
seen migrating over the state park.
There are still only scattered sightings of GREAT EGRET and
SNOWY EGRET, but any day hundreds will be in evidence.
OSPREY are migrating in; six passed over Cape May Point on
March 22, and some are already occupying nest sites. The
season's first CHIMNEY SWIFT was seen on March 23 at Bunker
Pond. Also other migrants are passing through, such as
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and BROWN CREEPER. Dozens of PINE
WARBLERS are now heard in the Pine Barrens and at Jakes
Anyone interested in pelagic birding might consider going
on one of the Saturday offshore wreck fishing trips aboard
the Miss Chris out of Cape May; birders are welcome. Call
Capt. Ascoli, (609) 884-3939 for information and
reservations. 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: Chorus Frogs, Wood Frogs, and Spring
Peepers are all being heard. 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. The sand road through Belleplain
State Forest are especially good for Azures.
[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 (email@example.com).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.