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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 4/25/1996
Hotline Cooperative mailing list, PROVIDED THAT no changes are made, credit is given and headers are included. Queries and comments to CMBO, please, not to transcriber. 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 April 25, 1996 include HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED GULL, AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, spring migrants, news of local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.

A female HARLEQUIN DUCK was seen at Stone Harbor Point on April 24th.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL was at Reed's Beach on April 19th, but has not been reported since.

An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was seen in a farm field north of Bayside in Cumberlan d County on April 23rd.

EVENING GROSBEAKS were seen in two locations on April 20th, one at Green Creek in Cape May County, and one at Fishing Creek in Cumberland County.

Some other highlights of returning spring birds were: COMMON MOORHEN at Fishing Creek marsh north of the Villas on April 21st, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO at CMBO on the 23rd, and RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and BLUE GROSBEAK at Higbee Beach on the 23rd.

Over 700 GLOSSY IBIS were on the grounds of Bayside Prison on Rt. 47 on April 23 rd, while 60 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 25 LESSER YELLOWLEGS were in a farm field north of Goshen on the same date. Two ROYAL TERNS were at the South Cape May Meadows also on the 23rd.

The Thursday morning Belleplain Bird Walks are enjoying each day's new arrivals plus the many songbirds that are here in force now: YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, BLACK-AND-WHITE, PINE WARBLERS, PRAIRIE WARBLERS, PARULA, BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS, HOODED WARBLERS, PROTHONOTARY, and WORM-EATING WARBLERS, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, OVENBIRDS, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS, WOOD THRUSH, BROWN THRASHERS, and WHITE-EYED VIREOS. The Friday Morning Higbee Beach Bird Walks are enjoying BLUE GROSBEAKS, INDIGO BUNTINGS, WHITE-EYED VIREO, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, and daily migrants coming through.

CMBO's Loon Outing savored COMMON LOONS and HORNED GREBES, both in breeding plumage, in Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest -- a rare treat seen briefly before they migrate north, and good looks at N. GANNETS and lots of RED-THROATED LOONS flying by the Concrete Ship, among many other wonderful spring sightings.

The Tuesday evening Stone Harbor Point and Nummy's Island bird walks have been enjoying YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS, lots of AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS displaying, WHIMBREL, YELLOWLEGS, DUNLIN, and BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, nesting OSPREY, and much more!

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are fairly regular at feeders and gardens now. Males return first and set up territories, then females follow. Since our hummingbird gardens are pretty sparse to non-existent right now, be sure to hang your feeders if you want hummers to stay and nest in your yard. But realize the task you are taking on ... feeders need to cleaned out thoroughly each week and refilled with fresh solution. In the spring you only need to put 1-2 inches of solution in your feeders.

LOCAL NATURE NOTES:

Finally the butterfly season has begun in earnest! FALCATE ORANGETIPS have been seen each warm day since the 18th, HENRY'S ELFINS since the 19th, and BROWN ELFINS and PINE ELFINS since the 20th! The Wednesday Belleplain Butterfly Walks are a great place to see all these wonderful spring butterflies! Other fun butterfly sightings, both in Belleplain State Forest, include a COMPTON'S TORTOISESHELL on April 20 on Pine Swamp Road and a HESSEL'S HAIRSTREAK on April 23 on Old Robbins Trail. The first TIGER SWALLOWTAILS were seen April 23rd, one in Belleplain and the other in Cumberland County. JUVENAL'S DUSKYWINGS were seen in numbers on April 23 in Belleplain, and the first GRAY HAIRSTREAK was in the Jakes Landing field on Apri l 20. MOURNING CLOAKS, QUESTION-MARKS, CABBAGE WHITES, ORANGE SULPHURS, and SPRING AZURES are all flying now too. The first dragonfly of the season, an immature BLUE CORPORAL SKIMMER, was seen April 21.

FOWLER'S TOADS are calling their distinctive baby-like crying call now -- "waaaaaaaaaaa." LEOPARD FROGS are giving their guttural call and GREEN FROGS are giving their banjo-like "plunking" calls. CARPENTER FROGS are also hammering out their calls. Snakes and turtles have come out of winter hibernation and might be found sunning.

Shadbush is in bloom, a lovely small tree or large shrub, with delicate white flowers, quite common along the Parkway. It blooms when shad, a type of fish, move up the Delaware Bay and river to spawn. Highbush Blueberries are beginning to bloom. And Dogwood flowers are just opening. Flowering Quince or Joponica is in bloom, a favorite with hungry hummingbirds.

PROGRAM INFORMATION:

CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs include 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.

CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard The Skimmer are offered Every Sund ay 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 reguire no preregistration -- 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.

 
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