Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 4/9/1998
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 9 include sightings of WHITE IBIS, SEDGE WREN, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.

A WHITE IBIS was reported as a fly-over heading from the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) to The Cape May Point State Park on April 4. It was not seen thereafter.

A SEDGE WREN has been singing at dusk in SCMM near the platform on the center trail. It was heard on both April 6 and 7.

AN ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen for a short time along Sunset Blvd. on April 6, before flying off toward West Cape May.

A late season AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was at Hidden Valley on April 5.

The first sizable flights of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS occurred on April 7, with small flocks totaling hundreds of birds were moving north most of the day. A GREAT CORMORANT was also seen that day. Small numbers of GREAT BLUE HERONS and COMMON LOONS were also headed north. GLOSSY IBIS are also on the move, with six seen at Stipson Island Rd. on the 6th and 12 over Erma on the 9th.

FORSTER'S TERN numbers are building each day, with a hundred or more present around Cape May Point this past week, and numbers of RED-THROATED LOONS continue to stage in Delaware Bay. Scan from places like the Concrete Ship to pick them up as they rest in the waters.

Six BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS and three RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS were at Higbee Beach on April 7, both are typical mid-April migrants.

A LEAST BITTERN was at Lighthouse Pond at the State Park on April 5, while an AMERICAN BITTERN was at SCMM on the 6th.

CMBO's daily spring morning bird walks have begun. Some highlights follow. The Stone Harbor Point walks are enjoying looks at YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON, TRI-COLORED HERON and LITTLE BLUE HERON, N. GANNETS flying by, RED-THROATED LOONS and breeding plumage OLDSQUAW in the surf, SEASIDE SPARROW and Ipswich SAVANNAH SPARROW. The Beaver Swamp WMA walks are enjoying WOOD DUCK, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER. The Belleplain Walks are enjoying singing LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH and numbers of PINE & YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS. As each day unfolds new spring migrants will entertain us on these walks. CMBO's April 4 Bald Eagle Cruise on the Maurice River enjoyed good looks at a number of BALD EAGLES, including several adults -- despite the rain!

Local Nature Notes follow: Beaver Swamp WMA on April 8th entertained with mating FALCATE ORANGETIPS, HENRY'S ELFINS, SPRING AZURES, BLUE CORPORAL SKIMMERS and FRAGILE FORKTAILS. Old Robbins Trail off Jakes Landing Road had a freshly emerged PINE ELFIN that was gorgeous shades of purple. Many frogs are calling and snakes and turtles are sunning. Shadbush is in full bloom and indeed the fish, shad, are migrating up into the Delaware Bay and river to spawn. Trees really budded out this week with the warmth. Great Horned Owlets are growing, having hatched at the end of February. Bald Eagles are all on chicks or newly hatched young now. Eric Stiles of the NJ Endangered & Nongame Species Program reports that this year there are 16 pairs of Bald Eagles in the state, 13 of them on active nests. Screech & Barn Owls are on eggs now. Bluebirds are regulars at CMBO's Center in Goshen, especially one of the nest boxes behind the center.

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 spring 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.

To register for the CMBO sponsored Sunday & Monday "Birding By Boat" trips at 9:30 a.m., call 609-884-3100, and be sure to say you learned about the trips through CMBO since a portion of the proceeds go back to CMBO.

CMBO's 5-Day Spring Migration Workshop IS FULL, so we've added another. The new Workshop is 4 days, runs from May 11-14, will be led by Clay Sutton and Louise Zemaitis, and precedes our Cape May Spring Weekend.

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 CMBO's 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: Sunday, April 26.

CMBO's DAILY bird, butterfly and dragonfly walks, requiring no preregistration, are in full swing. Friday: "Higbee Beach Walk" at 7:30 a.m.; Saturday: "Cape May Point Walk" at 7:30 a.m.; 3 Saturday "Belleplain Bird Walks" will be offered May 2, 23, and 30; Sunday: "Hidden Valley Bird & Butterfly" walk at 7:00 a.m.; Tuesday: "Birds of the Seashore" walk with Pete Dunne at 7:30 a.m.; Tuesday: "Sunset Birding at Stone Harbor Point & the Avalon Rookery" at 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday: "Beaver Swamp WMA Walk" at 7:30 a.m. and a "Butterfly & Dragonfly Walk at Beaver Swamp WMA" at 10:00 a.m.; Thursday: "Spring Birding in Belleplain" walk at 7:30 a.m.

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.

ATTENTION CMBO Members: your copy of the Spring Program Schedule was inside the recently mailed Peregrine Observer. If you are a CMBO member and did not receive the Peregrine Observer, call Kathy Iozzo at 609-861-0700.

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 two centers of activity. CMBO's Center for Research & Education is located at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen. CMBO's Northwood Center is located at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Both centers feature butterfly & hummingbird gardens, feeding stations, nature & book stores, and birding information. The Center in Goshen also has a wildlife art gallery, featuring artists, photographer, and carvers. Each Center is OPEN DAILY 10-5.

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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