Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/19/1994
You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending May 19, 1994, include: RUFOUS-NECKED STINT (in Delaware), SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, YELLOW RAIL, WHITE-FACED IBIS, BLACK-NECKED STILT, MISSISSIPPI KITE, SWAINSON'S WARBLER, MARBLED GODWIT, CURLEW SANDPIPER, continuing migration, local nature notes, and other announcements.

First, though, a brief announcement. It has come to our attention that some birders have been using tapes for the Swainson's Warbler at Higbee Beach. The use of tapes at Higbee is illegal and posted clearly on all the official signs. Please don't give birding a bad name. We are asking that birders police each other, and stop any taping of Swainson's Warbler or any other bird at Higbee Beach. If you haven't seen or heard the Swainson's Warbler, it is quite vocal in the woods directly across from the clamshell parking lot just before the main parking lot at Higbee Beach.

Now for the highlights. A RUFOUS-NECKED STINT is still being seen at Woodland Beach, Delaware, near Bombay Hook. The bird was reported as recently as May 18. A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was found on Jake's Landing Road on May 13, and was seen again on May 14. The bird was present in the overgrown field which can be entered on the left via a dirt road. No further reports have been received, however.

A YELLOW RAIL was heard by a Birdathon team at Jake's Landing on May 14. Again, no further details. A WHITE-FACED IBIS was reported from New England Rd. in the pool across from the Hidden Valley parking lot. This pool has also been good for shorebirds, such as Solitary Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, and Spotted Sandpiper. A BLACK-NECKED STILT was seen at Goshen landing Rd. on May 14. This is the location at which Stilts attempted to nest last year. MISSISSIPPI KITES were see from Goshen on May 14; the Beanery on May 15; and the hawkwatch platform in the state park on May 15.

A CURLEW SANDPIPER was seen on May 17 at Brigantine in map grid E-12. A MARBLED GODWIT was present at Reed's Beach on May 14, and one was seen off Ocean Drive the same date but seems to have moved on since. Two RED-NECKED GREBES were still present at the base of the Nummy's Island toll bridge on May 14, no more recent reports.

The shorebirds are in; on May 18, over 1000 birds were seen from the viewing platform at Reed's Beach, including good numbers of RED KNOT, RUDDY TURNSTONE, and SANDERLINGS. Some of the Sanderlings are in or coming into breeding plumage. In the past we directed birders away from Reed's Beach because of the parking problem and friction with many of the residents because of the influx of birders. This year we are encouraging birders to view the shorebirds from Reeds Beach. The owner of the marina at the end of Reed's Beach Road has opened his marina for parking for birders at $1 per car. This successfully relieves the parking problem, and also gives a boost to ecotourism. [I was told by the parking attendant that proceeds will go to dune restoration. --LL] If the parking attendant is not on duty to collect the fee, the owner of the marina asks that parking lot users pay when leaving Reed's Beach, at the small store midway back along the beach road.

Spring Migration continues in earnest, with some interesting sightings reported this week. A CERULEAN WARBLER was present at Higbee Beach on May 14, as was a WARBLING VIREO. PINE SISKINS have been seen here and there around the Cape, mainly in flight, though 3 were at a feeder in Goshen May 18. A SWAINSON'S THRUSH was seen at Higbee Beach May 19, while both BANK SWALLOWS and CLIFF SWALLOWS were in good numbers this week, with the hawk watch at the State Park a good vantage. On the ocean front, 2 BLACK TERNS were seen near the Concrete Ship on May 14, while another was at Second Avenue Jetty May 17. The first report of BROWN PELICAN was seen today, May 19, with one seen off the State Park.

Reports of a GLAUCOUS GULL along the Bayshore were received this week, however, we also had a report of an albino Herring Gull with a black tipped bill in the same area. Two CORY'S SHEARWATERS and 2 SOOTY SHEARWATERS were seen this week from the whale watch boat.

Local nature notes (summary): The next batch of butterflies are emerging, while early spring species are getting harder to find. FALCATE ORANGE-TIPS and HENRY'S ELFINS are about finished for this year, while HAYHURST'S SCALLOP-WING and ZABULON SKIPPERS are just emerging.

[Program notes omitted -LL] 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, phone our office or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. 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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