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.
Higbee Beach WMA again has breeding YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BLUE GROSBEAK,
INDIGO BUNTINGS, YELLOW WARBLERS, WHITE-EYED VIREO and more.
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,
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!