Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 4/16/1998
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 9 include reports of SWALLOW-TAILED KITE, SANDHILL CRANE, SEDGE WREN, EURASIAN WIGEON, COMMON EIDER, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A SWALLOW-TAILED KITE was seen on April 14 over Hidden Valley Ranch. It was glimpsed again in the distance about 45 minutes later, but was not seen thereafter

A SANDHILL CRANE called as it flew over the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on April 11.

A SEDGE WREN continues to be heard west of the raised platform at SCMM, but it has not shown itself.

A EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen at the Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive.

A sub-adult male COMMON EIDER has been present off the Stone Harbor beaches, usually between 100th and 110th Sts. It was seen this week on April 11 and 13.

An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was seen at Nummy Island on April 14.

There were several new arrivals this past week including a very early COMMON NIGHTHAWK was over Cape May Point on April 10, two WHIMBREL were over Cape May Point on the 11th, STILT SANDPIPER (a very scarce migrant in spring) was seen at Stipson Island Rd. on the 12th, CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW was very early on April 13 in Rio Grande, ROYAL TERN was at Cape May Point on the 14th, and BROAD-WINGED HAWK was at Beaver Swamp WMA on the 15th.

BLACK-AND-WHITE and PRAIRIE WARBLERS returned on April 11, and on April 16 KENTUCKY, PROTHONOTARY, and YELLOW WARBLERS and OVENBIRD all returned to Bevan WMA in Cumberland County, while an INDIGO BUNTING showed up at Cape May Point.

Several hundred NORTHERN GANNETS have been seen around Cape May Point on many days, and RED-THROATED LOONS continue to stage in Delaware Bay. COMMON LOONS and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS have been conspicuous heading north overhead. WILLETS are beginning to show up also.

Local nature Notes follow: There are several species of butterflies that can only be seen only early in the season and are gone: JUVENAL'S DUSKYWING, FALCATE ORANGETIP, and HENRY'S ELFIN are all flying now, but will be gone by early May. All were seen on the Wednesday Butterfly Walk at Beaver Swamp on April 15. In Addition were AMERICAN SNOUTS, and SPRING AZURES. AMERICAN LADIES, a southern immigrant have been seen in a few places, and a RED ADMIRAL (another immigrant was at Cape May Point State Park on the 14th. This is the best time of year to see MOURNING CLOAKS, which disappear in the hot weather months. Only a few species of dragon and damselflies have been reported: a few GREEN DARNERS, FRAGILE FORKTAIL, and April's commonest dragonfly, BLUE CORPORAL SKIMMER. Early season dragonflies to look for include HARLEQUIN DARNER, which prefers boggy areas near White Cedar Swamps and TWIN-SPOTTED SPIKETAIL, which likes to hunt dirt roads. Most frog species are calling now, but the incredible din of Spring Peepers is foremost around Cape May. The first MUD TURTLES and PAINTED TURTLES were reported this week

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks, requiring no preregistration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

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 hotline. For more information call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Don't hesitate to visit our two centers of activity. CMBO's Center for Research & Education is located at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen. CMBO's Northwood Center is located at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Both centers feature gardens, feeding stations, nature & book stores, and birding information. The Center in Goshen also has a wildlife art gallery, featuring artists, photographer, and carvers.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties and near shore waters. Updates are made on Thursday evenings, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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