Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/16/1997
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 15 include sightings of CURLEW SANDPIPER, BLACK-NECKED STILT, WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, RUFF, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, MISSISSIPPI KITE, MARBLED GODWIT, local nature notes, results of New Jersey Audubon's WORLD SERIES OF BIRDING, news that CMBO's new center in Goshen is OPEN, an announcement about a pelagic trip, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

A CURLEW SANDPIPER in partial breeding plumage was seen on Nummy Island on May 13. The bird was flushed by a Peregrine Falcon and has not been refound.

Two BLACK-NECKED STILTS were found on the north side of Rt. 109 on May 14 but since have moved to the impoundments east of the Seashore Road canal bridge.

A WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was reported flying with a flock of Double-crested Cormorants on May 12 over SCMM.

A female RUFF (or Reeve) which was present at the Seashore Road impoundments on May 10 has not been seen there since.

A LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER continues along Stone Harbor Boulevard just west of the Wetlands Institute. It was most recently seen on May 14.

A MISSISSIPPI KITE first reported on May 10 was seen soaring over Lily Lake on the 14th.

A MARBLED GODWIT continues to be seen in the inter-coastal waterway behind Two Mile Landing. It was seen most recently on May 15.

Other highlights include: WILSON'S PHALAROPE on May 10 and 11 along Ocean Drive, STILT SANDPIPER on May 14 in the impoundments off Seashore Road, DICKCISSEL at New England and Bayshore Roads on May 15, and LINCOLN'S SPARROW at the Beanery on May 15.

New Jersey Audubon's 14th Annual WORLD SERIES OF BIRDING was held May 10th and a record 57 Level I teams participated; they tied last year's cumulative species total of 270 bird species seen in New Jersey in a 24 hour period. The winning team was Kowa Optimed, the Canadian team; they came in with 217 species. The "Limited Geographic Area" winning team was none other than CMBO's team, sponsored by Leica, and they came in with an astounding 201 species seen ALL IN CAPE MAY COUNTY ! Now on with the hotline.

Horseshoe Crabs are mating and laying their eggs in the high tide line and spring shorebirds are arriving daily to take advantage of these eggs as a food source. On May 14th at Reeds Beach over one thousand shorebirds were gathered, including a nice mix of SANDERLINGS, RUDDY TURNSTONES, and RED KNOT in a variety of plumages -- some in full breeding plumage and others still in winter plumage. Numbers will continue to build as the month goes on.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS have settled in. If you hope to lure them to nest in your yard, feeders are almost a must now since our hummingbird and butterfly gardens are still quite quiet. This time of year you only need to fill your feeders with one or two inches of sugar water since use will be minimal. Be sure to clean your feeders out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution. Unused solution keeps for a month in the refrigerator.

CMBO's Tuesday evening Stone Harbor Point walks are enjoying the heronry at the boro park in Avalon between 71st and 74th Streets. This is the 2nd year herons, egrets, and ibis have nested here and they are thick this year, including up-close and personal looks at YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS on their nests at the north end of the park.

CMBO's Thursday morning Belleplain Bird Walks are enjoying all the specialty birds: LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, WORM-EATING, PROTHONOTARY, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, HOODED WARBLERS, BLACK-AND-WHITE, PRAIRIE WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS and more! And a few Saturday Belleplain Walks are scheduled, including one Saturday, May 24.

CMBO's Hidden Valley walks are enjoying excellent looks at BOBOLINKS and on the 14th a DICKCISSEL, WARBLING VIREO, and a flyover UPLAND SANDPIPER were seen there. The next Hidden Valley walks will be Friday, May 23, Sunday, May 25, and Friday, May 30.


CMBO's walks through the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, also known as South Cape May Meadows, are enjoying VIRGINIA RAILS, PIPING PLOVERS, LEAST TERNS, and more!

CMBO's Birding By Boat trips aboard the Skimmer are still seeing MARBLED GODWIT each trip.

CMBO's new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is now open Thursday through Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We're at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen, either 1 mile south of the blinking light at Rt. 657 or 1.7 miles north of the Gulf Station in Goshen. From either direction we are just around a bend. Look for the split rail fence, large parking lot, and big new building beyond. Our sign was vandalized, so currently there is no sign.

Local Nature Notes follow: CMBO's butterfly walks have been enjoying the spring specialties, like Pine and Brown Elfins and a few late Henry's Elfins. Red-banded Hairstreaks have emerged and are being seen now. The first Common Buckeye was seen May 8th. We've been seeing Monarchs since early-April and they are now a daily and common sight. Common Milkweed is about 4 inches above the ground now and every plant seems to have one or two Monarch eggs on it. Hopefully this means it will be a super Monarch year. Lilacs, Blueberry bushes, and Autumn Olive are all in bloom now. The Autumn Olives may attract nectaring hummingbirds.

Focus on Nature Tours is offering an overnight Pelagic Birding Trip from Barnegat Light and going to the Hudson Canyon. The boat leaves Friday, May 23 at 8:30 p.m. and returns Saturday, May 24 at 6:00 p.m. Cost is $89/person and reservations are required. Call 302-529-1876 for more information or to register.

CMBO's Spring Program Schedule is packed with fun field trips and workshops. Each day there are one or several different bird walks, butterfly walks, and boat trips. Stop by either center to pick up the spring program schedule with full details. This weekend, May 16-18, is our annual Cape May Spring Weekend -- a weekend packed with an incredible array of opportunities to learn more about birds, butterflies, dragonflies, plantings for wildlife, marine life, and much more!

Special upcoming spring programs include "Shorebirds & Horseshoe Crabs on the Delaware Bayshore" field trips daily from May 19-28 (except for May 25), 2 "Champagne Island Cruises for Terns & Skimmers" (one on May 31 and another on June 28), a "Dragonfly Workshop & Walk" with Bob Barber on June 7, an "Osprey Nests by Boat" trip on June 14 and much more! Pick up a copy of CMBO's spring program schedule for more details on our programs or call CMBO at 609-861-0700 to learn more.

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 our new Center for Research & Education at 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 Northwood Center in Cape May Point at 701 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point is open DAILY, 10-5. The Center for Research & Education in Goshen is open Thursday through Monday, 9-5.

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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