Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 4/3/1998
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 2 include sightings of MARBLED GODWIT, AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, EURASIAN WIGEON, RUFF at Pedricktown, local nature notes, and information about our upcoming programs and field trips.

Registrants for CMBO's April 4th 10:00 a.m. Maurice River Bald Eagle Cruise, the weather looks fine. There is still room on this trip. Call 609-861-0700 Friday to register.

A MARBLED GODWIT was seen all week near Two Mile Landing along Ocean Drive.

An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was seen at Stipson Island Rd. on April 2. Also present there were WESTERN SANDPIPER on March 31, 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and 6 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS on April 2nd, and several LEAST SANDPIPERS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS and LESSER YELLOWLEGS.

A EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be present at the Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive.

A RUFF was at Pedricktown on March 29.

Many birds are returning now: BARN SWALLOW, GLOSSY IBIS, CHIMNEY SWIFT, SOLITARY VIREO and SNOWY EGRET were all seen this week.20

CMBO's Bald Eagle Cruise on March 28 enjoyed 6+ BALD EAGLES along with OSPREYS back at their nests. CMBO's Thursday morning Belleplain Walk had LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH & YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS. CMBO's Wednesday morning Beaver Swamp WMA walk had WOOD DUCK, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, and singing HERMIT THRUSH.

Local Nature Notes follow: Temperatures have been in the high 80's and butterflies, moths and dragonflies have emerged. A still-wet LUNA MOTH was discovered March 29. GREEN DARNERS have been seen since March 29 at various locations, and FRAGILE & EASTERN Forktails were both seen in Cumberland County on the same day. The first record for NJ of SMALL TORTOISESHELL, a European butterfly, was discovered on March 28 at the Berrytown Rd., Cumberland County. Other sightings included early AMERICAN SNOUT on March 28, with others since. JUVENAL'S DUSKYWING was seen on March 30. Belleplain State Forest has produced numbers of SPRING AZURES and some HENRY'S ELFINS, MOURNING CLOAKS, QUESTION MARKS, COMMAS, CLOUDED SULPHURS. CABBAGE WHITES and ORANGE SULPHURS are now regular.

Many frogs are calling and snakes and turtles are sunning. FOWLER'S TOADS began calling March 29. CARPENTER FROGS were calling at Beaver Swamp WMA. Shadbush began blooming on April 1. Trees really budded out this week with the warmth. Barred Owls are vocalizing now. GREAT HORNED OWLets are growing, having hatched at the end of February. SCREECH OWLS & BARN OWLS are on eggs now. BALD EAGLES have chicks or newly hatched young.

CMBO's next Open House will be Wednesday evening, April 15th, at 6:00 p.m., featuring a program by Peter Dunne on the "World Series of Birding, a Strategy Session." All are welcome! The Cape May Bird Observatory's upcoming preregistration winter programs include a "Cruising For Loons" trip on April 18, a workshop on "Binoculars & Spotting Scopes for Birders" also on April 18, a Workshop to learn "The Art of Taking Field Notes & Making Field Sketches" on April 19, a "Rail Watch" on April 25, a "Bird Watching for Beginners Course" on April 25-26, a "Workshop for Business Owners to Learn How to Reach the Birding Market" on April 29, a "Prothonotary Warbler Outing" May 2, our first "Champagne Island Cruise for Spring Shorebirds" on May 2 and another on the 30th, and much more. Too, CMBO's 5-Day Spring Migration Workshop IS FULL, so we've added another, the new one is 4 days, runs from May 11-14, will be with Clay Sutton and Louise Zemaitis, and precedes our Cape May Spring Weekend.

CMBO also has 2-hour long DAILY bird, butterfly and dragonfly walks scheduled every morning except Monday, requiring no preregistration. The Friday morning "Higbee Beach Bird Walk" meets at 7:30 a.m.; the Saturday morning "Cape May Point Walk" meets at 7:30 a.m.; the Sunday morning "Hidden Valley for Birds & Butterflies" meets at 7:00 a.m.; the Tuesday morning "Birds of the Seashore" walk with Pete Dunne meets at 7:30 a.m. in The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge; Tuesday evening a "Sunset Birding at Stone Harbor Point & the Avalon Rookery" walk begins at 5:00 p.m.; the Wednesday morning Beaver Swamp WMA Bird Walk meets at 7:30 a.m. at followed by a Butterfly & Dragonfly Walk at the same location at 10:00 a.m.; and the Thursday morning "Spring Birding in Belleplain" walk begins at 7:30 a.m. and is a 3 hour walk.

Mark your calendars now to set Saturday, April 25th, aside when NJ Audubon will be hosting an all day, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. "Backyard Habitat Day Festival" at the CMBO Center for Research & Education in Goshen (600 Route 47 North). This is NJ Audubon's way of celebrating Arbor Day & Earth Day -- A festival celebrating habitat for wildlife. There will be learning opportunities for families, teachers, and general nature enthusiasts through mini-workshops and programs all day long, crafts and games for kids and families, a plant swap, exhibitors, and good company! And it's FREE. Rain date is Sunday, April 26.

Members received the Spring Schedule inside our newsletter, the Peregrine Observer. If you are a member and did not get the newsletter give Kathy Iozzo a call; the mailing labels came off some of them. If you are not a member and would like our Spring Program Schedule with all the details about the dozens of programs, walks, and workshops we offer, stop by either center or call us at 609-861-0700.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North. The center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature store, and a wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor, featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer, and carvers. CMBO's Northwood Center at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. The CMBO Center in Goshen is open 10-5, every day except Tuesday & Wednesday. The Northwood Center in Cape May Point is now open DAILY, 10-5.

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 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's 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!

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