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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 3/31/1994
You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Mar. 31, 1994 include: RED-NECKED GREBE, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, AM. BITTERN, EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, SHORT-EARED OWL, spring arrivals, nature notes, and other announcements. An early spring mixed bag of winter birds and spring migrants continues at the Cape. This tape reports spring migrants arriving, and winter birds lingering or even building in numbers as they stage here. RED-NECKED GREBES can still be found in many places. There are two birds in Lighthouse Pond, two on Lily Lake, one on Ocean Drive, and a fluctuating number offshore around Cape May. The two on Lighthouse Pond are easiest to see, while up to 17 were seen offshore today March 31 off Cape May Point. An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL continues to be seen at the shell piles on Ocean Drive, while another was in a farm field across from the school at Seashore and Ferry roads. Two EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL were seen at Corbin City Wildlife Management Area on March 26. Eurasian Green-wings look very much like "our" Green-winged Teal except for a horizontal white stripe on their sides as opposed to a vertical stripe. AMERICAN BITTERN was seen along Ocean Drive Mar. 26. The stretch of Ocean Drive between the Parkway and Wildwood Crest is lightly birded, but an excellent area for shorebirds, egrets, waterfowl, and raptors, just be careful of traffic. Both RED-THROATED LOONS and HORNED GREBES numbers continue to grow as they stage here for the next leg north. Up to 80 RED-THROATED LOONS were seen around the Alexander Ave. jetty in Cape May on Mar. 31, while 33 HORNED GREBES could be viewed at the Second Ave. jetty the same day. The recent rainy weather has slowed migration somewhat, although shorebird and wader numbers continue to build. In fact the rain has created much additional habitat for shorebirds and waders, with many flooded roadside fields. The best of these flooded areas has been a farm field on the west side of Rt. 47 about 1/2 mile north of Goshen Landing Road. On March 20 it held 55 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 8 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 4 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, & 2 SNIPE. Again, watch out for traffic. On March 20th also a significant influx of herons and egrets was noted along Ocean Drive, with 55 GREAT BLUE HERONS, 30 GREAT EGRETS, 26 SNOWY EGRETS, 7 GLOSSY IBIS, 2 LITTLE BLUE HERONS, and a TRICOLORED HERON. March 30 witnessed a small raptor flight around the Cape; highlights included 11 Turkey vultures, a MERLIN, and an imm. BALD EAGLE. A possible GOSHAWK was seen March 31 on Seashore Ave. Local nature notes (summary): recent heavy rains have swelled the local water table to all time highs, and the frogs love it. Spring Peepers, Leopard Frogs, and Chorus Frogs are everywhere and very vocal. Try S. Cape May Meadows. A Cabbage butterfly was seen on March 30. [Program notes omitted -LL] 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 (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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