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 27 include: BLACK-NECKED STILT, BLACK RAIL, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, MISSISSIPPI KITES, PARASITIC JAEGER, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, MOURNING WARBLER, and news of upcoming programs and field trips.
It should be noted that more than 180 species of birds were seen on NJ Audubon's Spring Weekend in Cape May this past weekend.
BLACK-NECKED STILTS were seen in 3 locations this week. Two birds have been at the end of Goshen Landing Rd., since May 21. One was at Two-mile Landing on the 27th; and one was in the South Cape May Meadows on the 26th.
A LINCOLN'S SPARROW was at the Beanery on May 21, near the pigpen. As is the case in most years in late May, MISSISSIPPI KITES were seen regularly. Two were at the Beanery on May 21, one was at the State Park on May 22, another on New England Rd. on May 23, one was at Hidden Valley on the same day and on the previous day; and 4 were at the Beanery together on May 27.
A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was seen at Higbee Beach May 22; it has not been reported since. A pelagic trip on May 21 yielded 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS, excellent views, as well as several BLACK TERNS and Ocean Sunfish. That trip was done on board the new whale-watcher out of the Cape May Harbor. A MOURNING WARBLER was seen at Higbee Beach on May 27.
Some waterfowl continue to linger in the area; all 3 SCOTER could still be found at Reed's Beach and Cape May Point, as well as RUDDY DUCK. Three RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were seen at Stone Harbor Point. VIRGINIA RAILS were abundant in South Cape May Meadows during the past week.
The bayshore is still good for shorebirds. This spectacle will only last into the first week or so of June. If you choose to view this phenomenon, PLEASE remember that many of the best viewing locations are extensively private property, and the residents' privacy MUST be respected. We would suggest that you view the shorebirds from the end of the road, at the jetty; this will also not bother the shorebirds.
CMBO will be offering a Bird Photography workshop with Art Morris on June 5. Birdwatching for Beginners, a 2-day course, is scheduled for May 29-30, and June 26-27, and each month thereafter. A dragonfly workshop and walk with Ken Soltesz (author of the Cape May County checklist) will be held June 19; and all-day butterfly counts will be held June 20, 26, 27. All these programs require pre-registration. To learn more about these and other CMBO programs and field trips, write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ, 08212, or call (609) 884-2736.
The Cape May birding hotline is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thanks for calling; good birding.