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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/21/1998
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 21 include reports of FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, BLACK-NECKED STILT, MISSISSIPPI KITE, BICKNELL'S THRUSH, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER was seen briefly and at a distance during CMBO's weeklong workshop on the morning of May 18 near the lighthouse at Cape May Point.

A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was reported from the Green Tree Golf Course on Mays Landing/Summer's Point Rd. on May 17.

A BLACK-NECKED STILT spent much of the week at the Higbee Beach impoundment, and was last reported on May 19. Two were seen near Stipson Island Rd. on the 17th.

The first MISSISSIPPI KITE was seen over Rio Grande on May 18, and sightings continued through the week, with four seen on May 21 at the Beanery.

A BICKNELL'S THRUSH was singing in a garden at 3rd Ave. and Bayshore Rd. on May 20 and 21.

As mid-May is the peak of the spring flight reports of notable birds abounded. Here are some of the highlights. Some warbler movements were noted during the week, with flights dominated by BLACKBURNIAN and BLACKPOLL WARBLERS. Other highlights were: OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER at Higbee Beach on May 16 with reports continuing to May 21, EVENING GROSBEAK on the 16th at Lily Lake, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, LINCOLN'S SPARROW and SUMMER TANAGER at Higbee Beach on the 16th, ROSEATE TERN at the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on the 16th, two WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS at the Higbee Beach impoundments on the 17th, a BREWSTER'S WARBLER on cape Island on the 17th, WILSON'S PHALAROPE at the Higbee impoundments on the 19th, PHILADELPHIA VIREO in West Cape May on the 20th and 21st, and COMMON NIGHTHAWK, DICKCISSEL, and LEAST FLYCATCHER on Cape May Point on the 21st.

There has been some lingering waterfowl also: an AMERICAN WIGEON was on Lily Lake on the 16th, BLACK SCOTER and OLDSQUAW off Cape May Point on the 16th, up to six BLUE-WINGED TEAL in SCMM on the 19th, two RUDDY DUCKS on Lily Lake on the 19th, and HOODED MERGANSER at Beaver Swamp on the 20th.

Shorebird numbers on the Delaware Bayshore have been very good all week, and Horseshoe Crab numbers have been good. Reed's Beach is an excellent vantage point to view this phenomenon. If you visit Reed's beach, 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 echotourism. Call CMBO to learn of our naturalist-led field trips to Reed's Beach from May 18 to 27.

Local nature Notes follow: A Common Roadside Skipper, a decidedly uncommon butterfly in new Jersey, was seen on May 17 in Peaslee WMA in Cumberland County. The warm, sunny weather that has abounded this week has butterflies very active. Black, Tiger, and Spicebush Swallowtails are all flying as are Gray and Red-banded Hairstreaks. Red-spotted Purples and Little Wood Satyrs were also seen this week. A few Monarchs are being seen. A Frosted Elfin, the scarcest of the regularly occurring elfins in southern New Jersey, was seen ovipositing on Wild Indigo this week. A Promethea Moth, one of the silk moths, was seen in Belleplain on May 21. Mountain laurel, the dominant understory in parts of Belleplain State Forest is about to burst forth in bloom, a sight worth seeing.

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 our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's 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 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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