You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New
Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights
for the week ending April 11 include sightings of RED-NECKED
GREBE, UPLAND SANDPIPER, early spring migration, local nature
notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.
RED-NECKED GREBES were seen in two locations this week. One was
seen in Mill Creek (that's the first creek east of the parkway
along Ocean Drive), while another was seen at East Creek Lake
along Rt. 347.
An UPLAND SANDPIPER was on the grounds of the Bayshore Prison
along Rt. 47 on April 7th.
A few shorebirds have been seen around the cape. Five LESSER
YELLOWLEGS were along Ocean Drive on April 5th, a SHORT-BILLED
DOWITCHER was at a rain pool near the Beanery on April 10th, and
a LEAST SANDPIPER was at Lily Lake also on the 10th. GREATER
YELLOWLEGS have been seen in a number of locations.
An early PRAIRIE WARBLER was at the Cape May Bird Observatory on
April 11th, and an even earlier CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER was
reported from the Cape May Point State Park on April 11th. This
is only the third Chestnut-sided ever reported in April in Cape
May County, and the earliest by 10 days.
RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS have returned to Cape May County Park.
One was there on April 8th.
Other noteworthy sightings included a SORA in the South Cape May
Meadows on April 10th and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW in Goshen on
A steady movement north of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS passed over
on April 11, in volving over a thousand birds. N. GANNETS are
migrating by offshore, all adults so far. Scan from the
beachfront in Cape May or Cape May Point, or take the early
morning Cape May Ferry and enjoy them up close!
RED-THROATED LOONS are here in good numbers now. Each year
hundreds stage in the Delaware Bay before they migrate north.
Scan the waters off 2nd Avenue in Cape May, off the jetties in
Cape May Point and around the Concrete Ship to find them; tides
move them around. It's always fun to watch them begin to change
from winter plumage into breeding plumage.
SHORT-EARED OWLS are still lingering. One has been seen hunting
The Nature Conservancy's property on Sunset Boulevard, known as
the South Cape May Meadows, this week at dawn and dusk, April 10
and 11. And one was seen near at Brigantine NWR on April 4 near
the first tower on the driving dike.
Local Nature Notes follow: I'm sure none of us were in the mood
for the day of rain that ended with 3 inches of snow on April
9th. But at least we could slip into a warm indoors. Not so
for insect eating warblers or spring emergent butterflies, like
the Spring Azures. April 11th a Spring Azure was nectaring in
CMBO's garden, no doubt a fresh emergent since the snow.
Individual Spring Azures only live 2-4 days. Females live only 2
days; they mate the first day they emerge, lay eggs the second
day, and then die. They've served their purpose in life. The
males may live 4 days -- a bit longer to ensure the next
generation by mating with several females.
CMBO's Sunday Hidden Valley Walk enjoyed BLUEBIRDS, 8+ PHOEBES, a
singing WINTER WREN, 5 PINE WARBLERS, and more. CMBO's Tuesday
evening Sunset Walk at Stone Harbor and Nummy's Island enjoyed
paired up and calling OYSTERCATCHERS, OSPREY on their nests,
thousands upon thousands of LAUGHING GULLS, DOWITCHERS, lots of
BRANT, and 4 YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS! CMBO's Thursday
Belleplain Bird Walk enjoyed LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH singing,
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, lots of PHOEBES, RED-NECKED GREBE and
adult BALD EAGLE at East Creek Lake, and a din of PINE WARBLERS
singing on territory. Flocks of GREAT EGRETS & SNOWY EGRETS are regular
now. RED-TAILED HAWKS are mating. BARRED OWLS and
RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS are on territory now and very vocal. BALD
EAGLE chicks have hatched. GREAT HORNED OWL chicks are getting
larger. GOLDFINCH are turning golden. Woodpeckers are drumming.
Robins are singing. Red Maples are budding red. Dogwood trees
are budding too.
CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs include a "Loon Outing"
on April 20, "Ruffed Grouse A'Drumming" on April 27, a "Rail
Watch" on April 27, a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course"
on April 27 and 28, a "Spring Butterfly & Dragonfly Field Trip "
on May 4, NJ Audubon's Cape May Spring Weekend May 17th through
the 19th, a "Weeklong Spring Birding Workshop" with Pete Dunne
and CMBO Staff May 20-24, "Shorebirds on the Delaware Bayshore"
field trips daily May 20-29 (except May 26), an "Osprey Nests by
Boat" trip on June 8, and 3 "Butterfly Counts" in late June.
Our next member's night on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. features Keith
Seager sharing a slide program on "Orchids of Cape May."
CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard The Skimmer are
offered Every Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and Every Monday from 9 a.m.
to Noon. To register for these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call
The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3712.
Our spring daily bird and butterfly walks have begun and require
no preregistrat ion -- JUST COME! Every Sunday Louise Zemaitis
leads a "Bird & Butterfly Walk at Hidden Valley" meeting at 7:30
a.m. in the small clamshell parking lot on the south side of New
England Road 0.3 miles past the intersection with Bayshore Road.
Every Tuesday Pete Dunne leads a "Birds of the Seashore" walk
through The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge,
meeting at 7:30 a.m., and Mike Fritz leads a "Sunset Birding at
Stone Harbor Point & Nummy's Island," meeting at 5:30 p.m. in
the Stone Harbor Point Parking Lot. Every Wednesday Pat Sutton
leads a "Butterfly Walk in Belleplain" at 9 a.m., meeting at the
end of Jakes Landing Road. Every Thursday CMBO offers a "Spring
Birding in Belleplain" walk, meeting at 7:30 a.m. at the
Belleplain State Forest Field Office. Every Friday Fred Mears
and/or Bill Glaser lead a "Higbee Beach Bird Walk" at 7:30 a.m.
Every Saturday Tom Parsons leads a "Birding Cape May Point" walk,
meeting at 7:3 0 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape
May Point State Park. Stop by our office and pick up the program
schedule for more details or give us a call at 609-884-2736 and
we'll mail it to you.
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. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds
to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.