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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 4/27/1995
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 Apr. 27 include sightings of SWALLOW-TAILED KITE, RED-NECKED GREBE, EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GULL-BILLED TERN, PARASITIC JAEGER, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, spring migrants, returning breeders, local nature notes, and announcements.

A SWALLOW-TAILED KITE was seen April 22 at Petersburg in the Tuckahoe area. On that same day at Cape May Point, a nice spring hawk flight was enjoyed, including 6 MERLIN, one SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, one OSPREY, and a COOPER'S HAWK, all ina brief period. The next day, APril 23, triggered another hawk flight over the Point, with both TURKEY VULTURES and BLACK VULTURES, 20 BROAD-WINGED HAWKS, 20 COOPER'S HAWKS, 20 RED-TAILED HAWKS and a sprinkling of SHARP-SHINS, MERLIN, OSPREY, & HARRIER -- but no Swallow-tailed Kite.

Two RED-NECKED GREBES were in the waters near the Bunker (State park) on April 22. A EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL was seen at the Nature Conservancy's Cape May Meadows on April 23. A GULL-BILLED TERN was in Hereford Inlet, on the Champagne Island sand spit, on April 25. An Adult PARASITIC JAEGER was seen April 27 off the South Cape May Meadows, as it harrassed FORSTER'S TERNS.

a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was seen April 26 in the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary; it was seen from Second Avenue, an odd location.

A walk through Higbee's Beach should be fun now. Migrants this week included NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, BROWN CREEPER, SOLITARY VIREO, HOODED WARBLER, and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. BLUE GROSBEAKS and INDIGO BUNTINGS are back on territory. Hidden Valley has also been excellent, with sightings of PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, EASTERN KINGBIRD, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD. The State Park and the streets of Cape May have offered looks at ORCHARD ORIOLE, INDIGO BUNTING, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, and assorted other warblers.

WHIMBREL are migrating through. An excellent place to find them feeding is in the salt marshes of Shell Bay Landing. To get there, take the Parkway to the traffic light at Exit 9. Go east out Shell Bay Landing Rd. to the end. Scan the salt marshes - up to 60 Whimbrels have been reported this week.

E. BLUEBIRDS are trying to nest at the Cape May County Park on Rt. 9 again, but are battling with English Sparrows for nest sites. Many of the breeding warblers are in at Belleplain State Forest; YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, PRAIRIE WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, and OVENBIRD were all seen this week. The pine stands along Jake's Landing Road also have YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, and held a SCARLET TANAGER on April 26. Local nature notes follow.

Horseshoe Crabs have begun mating and laying eggs as of the full moon in mid-April; so there should be plenty of food for the shorebirds when they return.

An immigration of AMERICAN LADY and PAINTED LADY butterflies, and PAINTED SKIMMER dragonflies, was witnessed this week, involving hundreds of individuals. PAINTED SKIMMERS are not thought to be migratory, but Cape May naturalists have suspected otherwise.

The first HUMMINGBIRD MOTH of the spring was seen April 26. Sixteen species of butterflies were seen on CMBO's butterfly walk April 26 at Jake's Landing, including FALCATE ORANGE-TIP, HENRY'S ELFIN, BROWN ELFIN, and JUVENAL'S DUSKY-WING.

The first male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS were seen April 19; the first female was seen April 24. Males will soon be doing their dramatic courtship flight. Put up your feeders now, and plant nectar-bearing plants.

Dogwood is in bloom, and a PAINTED LADY butterfly was seen nectaring on Dogwood blossoms.

[program announcements 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 (llarson@pucc.princeton.edu).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

 
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