Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/16/2002
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, May 16, 2002. Highlights from the last week include VERMILION FLYCATCHER, SWAINSON'S WARBLER, CAVE SWALLOW, SHORT-EARED OWL, BROWN PELICAN, MISSISSIPPI KITE, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, and ALDER FLYCATCHER.

A young male VERMILION FLYCATCHER was seen Monday, May 13 and early Tuesday, May 14 at the Wetlands Institute, along Stone Harbor Blvd. The bird was then found again around midday on Wednesday, May 15 in the brushy area at the base of Stone Harbor Point. If accepted this will be New Jersey's first report of this showy species. We have not received any reports of this bird for May 16.

A SWAINSON'S WARBLER was discovered on May 1st along Jakes Landing Rd, in an area of woods with extensive understory of mountain laurel, just north of the planted pine forest along the east side of the road. This bird has continued through at least May 15th. DO NOT PLAY TAPE RECORDINGS AROUND THIS BIRD. It is unethical and unnecessary. The bird has established a territory and it regularly patrols this territory, singing vigorously. The territory crosses the road. Be patient and eventually the bird will come close to the road. Swainson's Warblers have been driven away from other territories due to the overuse of recordings. Don't let this happen here!

A CAVE SWALLOW was seen over Nummy's Island on May 14th.

Two late SHORT-EARED OWLS were seen at Turkey Point on May 11th.

BROWN PELICANS have returned, with reports from the beach at Avalon on May 11th, from Poverty Beach on May 12th, from Kimble's Beach on May 14th, and from Hereford Inlet on May 16th.

MISSISSIPPI KITES have also shown up, with one at Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area on May 11th, at least three over the western part of Cape Island on May 15th (moving between the Rea Farm, Higbee, and West Cape May), and a single bird on May 16th at the Rea Farm.

An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER has been seen at Higbee from May 13th through the 16th.

An ALDER FLYCATCHER was seen May 15th from the Mauricetown bypass about 1/4 mile before turnoff to Haleyville.

Virtually all of the migrant songbirds expected in Cape May have been seen during the last week, including LINCOLN'S SPARROW, PHILADELPHIA VIREO, DICKCISSEL, CERULEAN WARBLER, and BICKNELL'S THRUSH. A major fallout of migrants occurred on May 10th and continued through May 11th for the World Series of Birding. Numbers have dropped since that date, but the diversity of migrants is still very high.

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration, and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and include some reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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