Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/14/1998
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 May 14 include reports of WHITE-FACED IBIS, ARCTIC TERN, ROSEATE TERN, RED PHALAROPE, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, SANDHILL CRANE, ICELAND GULL, KING EIDER, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A WHITE-FACED IBIS was seen intermittently between May 10 and 12 at a pond along Shunpike Rd. between New England Rd. and Stimson Lane.

An ARCTIC TERN was present on the beach at Sunset Beach on the morning of May 13. The evening before up to nine Roseate Terns were present at the same location, with several lingering thereafter.

The five days of east winds also brought some phalaropes onshore. A RED PHALAROPE was at the Higbee Beach dike on the evening of May 13 along with a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were also seen at Sunset Beach on May 13, and were present at the time of this tape at Lily Lake and in the South Cape May Meadows (SCCM), where there were two.

A SANDHILL CRANE was fly-over near SCMM on May 13.

An ICELAND GULL was a fly-over near SCMM on May 8 while a second report came from Hereford Inlet on May 9.

A KING EIDER has been seen on and off at Reeds Beach, although it was last reported on May 8.

A few EVENING GROSBEAKS have been seen around Cape May Point this past week.

Other highlights included: three BLACK TERNS were at Timber Beaver Swamp on May 13, STILT SANDPIPER at the Higbee Beach impoundments on May 8, MARBLED GODWIT continuing near Thorofare Island, and a DICKCISSEL at 2nd Ave. in Cape May on May 10.

Shorebirds are building in good numbers on the Delaware Bayshore beaches in response to the egg-laying of Horseshoe crabs. On May 13th at dusk, an estimate was tallied of 1,000 RED KNOTS and 1,000 RUDDY TURNSTONES at Reeds Beach. If you visit Reeds Beach to witness this phenomenon, please park in the specially arranged lot at the marina at the end of the road near the jetty. The cost is only a dollar and goes a long way toward good will and the promotion of ecotourism. Call CMBO to learn of our naturalist-led field field trips to Reeds Beach from May 18 to 27.

Landbird migration continues to be relatively slow. However, some birds have been moving. CAPE MAY, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, and MAGNOLIA WARBLERS were all seen in the last couple of days.

Local nature notes follow: The spectacle of 1,000s of shorebirds on the bayshore at Reeds Beach attracted one very interested party when a Peregrine Falcon arrived to haunt the shoreline, creating chaos among the ranks of feeding gulls and shorebirds. The incessant stretch of east winds and rain has made it very difficult for many birds, but none more so than for swallows. Swallows feed chiefly on flying insects and many starved during the storms. Mortality seemed to be the highest, or at least most noticeable, for Purple Martins and Barn Swallows. These same storms reduced butterfly enthusiasts to studying their field guides. However, the CMBO walk on May 13 produced five Cobweb skippers, ten Red-banded Hairstreaks, two Silver-spotted Hairstreaks, and an American Lady.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks, requiring no preregistration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or to New Jersey Audubons WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org .

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 call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Don't 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 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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