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 4, 2002. Highlights from the last week include COMMON
REDPOLL, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT,
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and NEWS OF RETURNING MIGRANTS.
A fly-over COMMON REDPOLL was noted from Sunset Beach on April 2nd.
Cape May Point's overwintering CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen along Yale Ave.
on March 31st, where it was traveling with WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS.
An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was found at Cape May Point State Park on April
3rd, perhaps one of the birds seen in the park on and off all winter. The
park's wintering YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was most recently reported March 30th.
A dark morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen at Turkey Point, in Cumberland
County, on March 29th.
A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen March 31st on the Cape May side of the
southernmost toll bridge along Ocean Drive.
Other news is primarily about the progress of migration. LOUISIANA
WATERTHRUSHES have returned, with most reports coming from nesting areas
along streams in Belleplain State Forest. YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS and PINE
WARBLERS are also on territory in Belleplain. A NORTHERN PARULA was seen
near Hidden Valley on Cape Island on April 2. BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS, BARN
SWALLOWS, MARSH WRENS, and CHIMNEY SWIFTS are back and being reported from
many locations. GLOSSY IBIS were very frequently seen flying over Cape May
during the last week. OSPREY have returned to many nesting platforms in the
County's salt marshes. We have received our first reports recently of
returning LITTLE BLUE HERONS. A NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW was seen at
Belleplain on April 4th. A CATTLE EGRET was seen at the Cape May County
Airport on April 3rd. A WHIP-POOR-WILL was seen along Jakes Landing Road on
March 28th. A VIRGINIA RAIL was heard calling at the South Cape May Meadows
on April 1st. A NORTHERN BOBWHITE was calling near Hidden Valley on March
A number of winter birds may still be seen around Cape May. Two TUNDRA
SWANS continue at Bunker Pond, Cape May Point State Park. WINTER WRENS are
still being reported. RED-THROATED LOONS and NORTHERN GANNETS continue to
gather at the mouth of Delaware Bay, most easily observed from Sunset Beach.
GANNETS continue to be easily seen most days following the ferry as it
crosses the Bay. COMMON LOONS and HORNED GREBES, many molted into breeding
plumage, are being seen around Stone Harbor Point and in Sunset Lake,
Avalon's GREAT HORNED OWLS continue to be enjoyed by many birders. A nest
is conspicuous on an Osprey platform that is easily seen from the end of 5th
Ave., just north of its junction with 20th St.
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 our natural history
and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at
609-861-0700, 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 include some
reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on
Thursdays. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO 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