Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/11/1995
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This week's tape ending May 11 includes sightings of CURLEW SANDPIPER, COMMON EIDER, REDDISH EGRET, and many other tips, lingering birds, and advice for the World Series of Birding.

A dark-morph REDDISH EGRET was reported from Brigantine, in Gull Pond, in the smaller pond on the left, on May 10. A CURLEW SANDPIPER was also reported from Brig, on May 7; it was seen on the left side of the east dike.

A COMMON EIDER is being seen in Hereford Inlet. This is the body of water between North Wildwood and Sea Isle City. Usually roosting on the sandbar in the mouth of the inlet, the best vantage point is from the base of the "free" bridge on Nummy Island, looking east. Nummy Island is the stretch of Ocean Drive between North Wildwood and Sea Isle.

Two BROWN PELICANS were fly-by's off Pierce's Point on the bay shore today, May 11.

On May 13 at one minute after midnight, 54 teams from all over the US and Canada and Great Britain will begin NJ Audubon's 12th annual World Series of Birding. This 24-hour birdathon will raise money for NJ Audubon's conservation work in Nj, as well as for the numerous other conservation groups participating in this event.

A few brief announcements for participants: --the finish line is at the Cape May Point State Park as always, not at the Grand Hotel. --any level one teams that are covering a limited geographic area who will not be at the finish line at midnight should FAX their official team checklists to CMBO at (609) 884-6052 by 11 PM on Saturday May 13. --Brigantine, or the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, has a $3 entry fee. --Lyme Disease is a problem in New Jersey. Please check yourself for ticks. --Be sure to read the new rules sent to each team captain, like: Luring birds in with recorded birdcall tapes is NOT permitted. All birds must be identified by at least 2 team members. Drive sensibly; any team that is charged with and subsequently convicted of a moving violation is automatically disqualified. --good luck to all teams and on with the hotline.

RED-THROATED LOONS have been scarce. A few have been seen around the point, from the South Cape May Meadows and the Concrete Ship. PIED-BILLED GREBES have been seen in Lily Lake and at Fishing Creek Marsh (on Bayshore Road north of the VIllas). This marsh has also had COOT, MOORHEN, SNIPE, LEAST BITTERN, SOLITARY SANDPIPER, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, and GREEN WINGED TEAL. LEAST BITTERNS are also in the S. Cape May Meadows. The EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL is still being seen at the S. Cape May meadows; BLUE-WINGED TEAL is also at the Meadows, and there are 2 pairs of BLUE-WINGS in the pond as you exit Brigantine.

NORTHERN GANNET has been a bit more frequent than RT Loons, but look for them from the same vantages. This past week, seawatching at the Point also produced PARASITIC JAEGER, BLACK TERN, and ROSEATE TERN.

GREAT CORMORANTS are on the Coast Guard pilings at Poverty Beach in Cape May (scope birds from Beach Drive); another reliable spot in the past for these has been on the sandbars at Hereford Inlet.

HERONS and EGRETS from the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary have moved to Stone Harbor Point and Sedge Island, a small island in the marsh in the back bay directly inland from the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary. CATTLE EGRET are scarce, but are dependable on the lawns around the lake at the Cape May County Park on Rt. 9 north of Cape May Court House. Two SNOW GEESE are being seen from the north dike at Brigantine, in the West Pool. Some other waterfowl news: BLUE-WINGED TEAL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and GADWALL have all been seen at the Impoundments in McNamara Wildlife Management Area, off Rt. 50 near the town of Tuckahoe.

BLACK SCOTER and SURF SCOTER were regular at Reed's Beach early in the week, not so later in the week. RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were in the Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive; this is the section of the road east of the end of the Parkway. A WHITE-WINGED SCOTER has been in the channel between Stone Harbor and the bridge to Nummy's Island. A male HOODED MERGANSER is using the West Pool at Brigantine, being seen north of the north dike. A male BUFFLEHEAD was seen in Dennis Creek, where it passes under Rt. 47 on the west side of Rt. 47; also, a pair were in Sunset Lake earlier this week.

AMERICAN KESTREL have been seen regularly at the Cape May County Airport, from the terminal parking lot; also here, KILLDEER, HORNED LARK, and sometimes MEADOWLARK. Good spots to check for BALD EAGLE are East Creek Lake; Jakes Landing; and Goshen Landing. COMMON MOORHEN and AMERICAN COOT are in the Bunker Pond in Cape May Point State Park, seen on the east side of the pond. PIPING PLOVER are again nesting in the South Cape May Meadows; they are between the east road and Second Ave. Jetty; and a colony of LEAST TERNS is actively courting there also. Other nesting sites for PIPING PLOVER are Hereford Inlet, Strathmere, and Avalon beaches.

PURPLE SANDPIPER can still be found at Second Avenue jetty, the Point jetties, the Concrete Ship, and the Stone Harbor jetties. A WESTERN SANDPIPER was reported from Brig on May 12 [sic], and also from Moore's Beach. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was in the tidal pond across from the Wetlands Institute on Stone Harbor Blvd.; and at Brigantine. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was seen in the East Pool at Brigantine, at the northeast corner. STILT SANDPIPERS have been seen at Brig also, in the northwest corner of the West Pool. Two SNIPE were at Goshen Landing Road, in the first pond on the right.

Hundreds of RED KNOT, RUDDY TURNSTONES, and SANDERLING are on the Bayshore. If you go to Reed's Beach, please do not flush the birds or trespass on private property. The Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive have held a COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL since mid-winter. GULL-BILLED TERNS have been seen at Goshen Landing Rd this week (reach it from Rt. 47 just north of Reed's Beach); Gull-bills are also being seen at Brig.

CHUCK-WILL'S WIDOW are calling at dusk at the Beanery, Higbee's Beach, and Cold Spring Campground; however, east-west roads in the middle part of the county, like Hand Avenue, or Rt. 618, have much denser populations. RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS have been seen regularly at Cape May County Park near picnic pavilion #5.

Belleplain State Forest is again good for SUMMER TANAGER along Cedar Bridge Rd.; PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, and HOODED WARBLERS, ACADIAN FLYCATCHER, and LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, all at the bridge at Savage's Run along Sunset Road; also for WORM-EATING WARBLER at the big bend in Pine Swamp Road. KENTUCKY WARBLER is along Rt. 618 in Cape May County at the guard rail. Jakes Landing Road has a good breeding population of YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, and SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS and SEASIDE SPARROWS can be found at the salt marsh at the end of Jakes Landing Road, or across the creek. This road is off Rt. 47 1.4 miles north of the WAWA Market in Dennisville in Rt. 47.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are regular at CMBO's feeders. Higbee Beach has nesting YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BLUE GROSBEAK, INDIGO BUNTING, WHITE-EYED VIREOS, and hopefully some migrants as well.

Some final words of advice to WSB participants: Don't over-extend yourself; keep up the record of happy endings to this event. Keep speed limits safe and tolerant, and please don't behave in a manner that would reflect negatively on this event or birding in general. Please don't give birding a bad name. Good luck, and see you at the finish line.

The Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if warranted. [Compiled by CMBO staff; transcribed by L. Larson (llarson@pucc.princeton.edu).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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