Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 4/22/2004
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, April 22nd. Highlights from the last week include PURPLE GALLINULE, SWALLOW-TAILED KITE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, GREAT CORMORANT, ICELAND GULL, and news the season. A PURPLE GALLINULE has been present from April 15th through at least April 21st at the Wetlands Institute, along Stone Harbor Blvd. The bird frequents the small patch of mixed habitat (primarily lawn, brush, and phragmites) between the parking lot and Stone Harbor Blvd. A SWALLOW-TAILED KITE was seen briefly above the South Cape May Meadows on April 20th, but never relocated. The female HARLEQUIN DUCK has continued through at least April 20th at the St. Marys jetty in Cape May Point.

A GREAT CORMORANT in full breeding plumage was seen on April 21st from Nummy Island. An adult ICELAND GULL was seen off Cape May Point on April 18th.

The numbers and diversity of migrant birds coming to and through Cape May continues to rapidly increase, as expected at this date. Some noteworthy recent sightings include a white-lored YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER at Cape May Point State Park April 20 through 22, a WOOD THRUSH in a Goshen backyard on April 22nd, and multiple reports of HOODED WARBLER, WORM-EATING WARBLER, PRAIRIE WARBLER, BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, OVENBIRD, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, CHIMNEY SWIFT, WHIP-POOR-WILL, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, EASTERN KINGBIRD, BLUE GROSBEAK, INDIGO BUNTING, and SCARLET TANAGER. A SOLITARY SANDPIPER was at the South Cape May Meadows on April 22nd, and 2 BLACK SKIMMERS were off Cape May Point on the same day. BROWN PELICANS have been seen at several coastal locations recently. Shorebirds seen at Nummy Island on the 21st include AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, WILLET, WHIMBREL, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, DUNLIN, and BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. We have now received multiple reports of all the expected herons and egrets except Tricolored Heron in the vast salt marshes east of the Garden State Parkway.

Please note that the free bridge connecting Nummy Island to south Stone Harbor is now closed until further notice for construction estimated date for reopening is late May. Nummy can still be accessed from North Wildwood Blvd.; drive past the road closed local traffic only sign and over the bridge.

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://www.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 CMBOs 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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