Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 4/29/2004
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 29th. Highlights from the last week include PURPLE GALLINULE, PARASITIC JAEGER, BROWN PELICAN, MARBLED GODWIT, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, PURPLE FINCH, and news the season. The PURPLE GALLINULE continues at the Wetlands Institute, along Stone Harbor Blvd., seen most recently this morning, April 29th The bird frequents the small patch of mixed habitat (primarily lawn, brush, and phragmites) between the parking lot and Stone Harbor Blvd. When resting in the middle of the brushy area, the bird is not visible, but it has not been seen leaving this small, unlikely area. It was first discovered here on April 15th PARASITIC JAEGERS have returned, with one seen April 26throm Cape May Point and one on April 27throm Two Mile Beach. A BROWN PELICAN was also at Two Mile Beach on the 27th A MARBLED GODWIT was seen on April 25thn the salt marsh near Two Mile Landing, just south of Wildwood Crest. A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and a PURPLE FINCH were at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area on April 24th

Other news this week is of birds that are not unexpected for the season, but nonetheless welcome harbingers of the season. A SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROW was singing from the marsh at Shellbay Landing on April 27th An AMERICAN BITTERN, a COMMON NIGHTHAWK, a calling CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW, and 2 displaying AMERICAN WOODCOCKS were seen by visitors to The Nature Conservancys Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (The Meadows) at dusk on April 24th, along with many BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS and at least 5 calling SORAS. Songbirds continue to flow through and into Cape May, with multiple reports this week of RED-EYED VIREO, ORCHARD ORIOLE, WORM-EATING WARBLER, INDIGO BUNTING, BLUE GROSBEAK, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, and first reports of the season for WOOD THRUSH, PHILADELPHIA VIREO and AMERICAN REDSTART, the latter birds noted from Belleplain State Forest. COMMON TERNS, BLACK SKIMMERS, WHIMBRELS, and PIPING PLOVERS are among the migrant water birds that are back in suitable habitats around Cape May.

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

<< 4/22/2004   5/6/2004 >>