Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 3/6/2003
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, March 6, 2003. Highlights from the last week include RED-NECKED GREBE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, KING EIDER, LITTLE GULL, and BLACK-HEADED GULL.

A major RED-NECKED GREBE invasion is under way all along the New Jersey coast. In the southern part of the state sightings have come from a variety of locales, from both salt and fresh water. Union Lake near in Milleville held an astounding 45 on Mar. 3. There have been nine on the little pond on Champlain Ave. in Villas.

Two HARLEQUIN DUCKS were seen off Cape May Point near St. Peter's Church on Mar. 5. These are almost certainly the same two birds seen at the Cold Spring jetties on the 2nd.

An immature male KING EIDER was off the South Cape May Meadows on Mar. 6.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL continues to be seen in the area of Cape May Point, seen on Mar. 5 at the ferry terminal jetties. A LITTLE GULL was reported from the same locale on Mar. 1.

Twelve COMMON MERGANSERS were at mile marker 3.3 on the Garden State Parkway on Mar. 6.

Although we have no reports, we assume the North Wildwood LONG-BILLED CURLEW is likely still present. Best viewing for this bird is at lower tides from the west end of 26th, 19th, 17th, and 14th Streets in North Wildwood.

New arrivals include PIPING PLOVER at the South Cape May Meadows on Mar. 1, and BLUE-WINGED TEAL and FORSTER'S TERN at the Meadows on the 6th.

An easily observed GREAT HORNED OWL nest is on an old Osprey nest in Avalon, visible from shore at Moran's Marina (14th and Ocean Drive).

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://cmbo.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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