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 9 include sightings of
COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL, SPOTTED TOWHEE, LAUGHING GULL,
GLAUCOUS GULL, local nature notes and announcements.
A COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen as it flew by the South
Cape May Meadows on March 3.
A Spotted Towhee, the western form of the RUFOUS-SIDED
TOWHEE, persists in Cape May Point on Sea Grove Avenue,
near the intersection with Lighthouse Ave. It's been seen
near the 3 big cedars across from the red house, and is
still quite secretive but is singing regularly.
March 8 brought the first LAUGHING GULL to the area, seen
at the Cape May - Lewes Ferry Terminal; and the same day, a
GLAUCOUS GULL in second winter plumage was seen at the
shell pile, behind Axelsson & Johnson's fish market on
RED-THROATED LOON numbers are beginning to build; they
stage here in the Delaware Bay before migrating north.
Fifty were seen March 4 off Cape May Point. Lily Lake held
HOODED MERGANSER on March 5. The Hidden Valley fields off
New England Road, and groves along Stevens Streen near the
Beanery, have attracted migrant PALM WARBLERS, both eastern
and western forms. A male MERLIN was seen March 9 near the
Cape May canal.
Jakes Landing is still a hotspot for wintering raptors;
look for NORTHERN HARRIERS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS & RED-TAILED
HAWKS; at dusk, scan for SHORT-EARED OWLS. March 4,
overcast conditions allowed Short-ears to hunt most of the
day at Brigantine NWR.
The back-bay waters behind the barrier islands at Stone
Harbor and Avalon are again full of winter and migrant
waterfowl, including BRANT & LOONS; OLDSQUAW can be seen
offshore and in harbors. Good numbers of AMERICAN
OYSTERCATCHER are wintering at Hereford Inlet, and can be
seen from Nummy's Island. AMERICAN WOODCOCK were thick at
Higbee Beach March 4.
An announcement: 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:
Spring has sprung. All water is open; hundreds if not
thousands of Green-winged Teal are packed into salt ponds
on the marshes. Lots of Killdeer can be found in fields and
farmland. Swamp Maple trees are budding red; Woodcock can
be heard each evening at the last bit of light. Wood frogs
have begun to chorus and ponds are already full of their
eggs. A few Spring Peepers have begun calling; in no time,
their noise will drown out all other spring sounds.
Five of the 9 pairs of Bald Eagles in southern New Jersey
are on eggs, according to state Endangered and Nongame
Species Program staff. Young Great Horned Owls have hatched
and the adults can be heard briefly now at dusk. Male
Red-winged Blackbirds are on territory. E. Meadowlarks are
also calling from fields and marshes.
[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.