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 28 include SWAINSON'S WARBLER, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, MISSISSIPPI KITE, SANDHILL CRANE, CERULEAN WARBLERS, a local RED-HEADED WOODPECKER invasion, spring arrivals, and local nature notes.
A SWAINSON'S WARBLER continues to be seen and heard in the Cape May Point State Park, along Lighthouse Avenue. The bird has been present at this location since Sunday, April 24 and was seen today, Thursday, April 28. To see this bird you must pass through private property of the residents of 501 Lighthouse Ave. This is the last house along Lighthouse on the left as you drive toward the State Park. The homeowner has been very gracious in allowing access. A small path is visible from the road to the right of the house next to a shed. A short walk up the path should put you close enough to the bird to hear its song, and should provide you with a chance for a view. It has been singing from relatively high perches at different points along the trail mainly in the morning and again in the evening. Please use common sense and courtesy if you decide to look for the bird. If you park along Lighthouse Ave., it would be best not to park in front of anyone's property, particularly the homeowners. Remember to respect the privacy of the local homeowners.
A WHITE-WINGED DOVE was reported to this office today, April 28, as the hotline was being prepared. It was seen in Avalon on 38th St. between Dune and Ocean.
A subadult MISSISSIPPI KITE seen April 24 over the Beanery was not seen again, but we are at that time of year when they could occur at almost any time. Two SANDHILL CRANES were in Cumberland County, at Sealy Lake north of Bridgeton this week. The birds were said to be actively courting.
CERULEAN WARBLERS were reported from two locations this week. One was on Cape May Point at Lake and Cedar Avenues on April 24; another was at Hidden Valley Ranch on April 25.
A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER invasion occurred this week at Cape May. Multiple sightings were made on several different days. They were seen on Cape May Point including here at the Observatory, at Hidden Valley Ranch, at Higbee Beach, and even in Avalon entering a nest box.
Spring migration is beginning to accellerate while local breeders arrive daily. Blue Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings are both to be seen at Higbee Beach. Prothonotary Warblers have taken up residence at Hidden Valley Ranch while one was singing at the Beanery April 26. New arrivals this week include Yellow-throated Vireo April 24 at Belleplain State Forest, Acadian Flycatcher there the same day, Orchard Oriole in Goshen April 25, and Scarlet Tanager at Hidden Valley April 28.
Shorebirds are also moving; a Wilson's Phalarope was at South Cape May Meadows April 22. Both Least and Semipalmated Sandpiper numbers increased this week, while Willet, Whimbrel, and Red Knot began to show up in a variety of places. On the ocean front, Red-throated Loon numbers have started to decrease rapidly, and most will be gone in a week or two. A few Northern Gannet are still being seen, mostly younger birds. Up to two Great Cormorants were seen at various times at the Concrete Ship. Most of the local breeders have arrived at Belleplain State Forest. These include Pine Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Acadian Flycatcher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Scarlet Tanager, Summer Tanager, Northern Oriole, Orchard Oriole, and many others.
[Local nature notes include herps (Fowler's Toad, Gray Treefrog, Bullfrog, Green frog): shadbush and beach plum blooming; butterflies (over 20 spp including Spicebush Swallowtail, American Copper, E. Tiger Swallowtail, American Snout and Olive Hairstreak), dragonflies. Program notes omitted. LL]
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 about Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, and the Observatory, call our office at 609-884-2736 or write to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area visit our headquarters at 707 E. Lake Dr.., Cape May Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.
The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the 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!