Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/27/1999
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 27 include reports of SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, MISSISSIPPI KITE, ICELAND GULL, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

Note: The parking lots at Hidden Valley Ranch and Higbee Beach are closed for the summer. At this time it appears that the lots will re-open after Labor day.

A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was seen at Higbee Beach on May 27 in the plowed third field on the west side. It was searched for later at that location, but was not seen again.

Three MISSISSIPPI KITES were over Hidden Valley Ranch on May 27, and there were a scattering of kite reports earlier in the week.

An ICELAND GULL, described as a pure white 2nd year bird was seen at Miami Beach north of Villas on May 22, and at Diamond Beach on May 23.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, a very rare spring migrant, was reported from Higbee Beach on May 22.

An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was in Belleplain State Forest along New Bridge Road on May 22.

Other highlights this week included: two RED-NECKED PHALAROPES offshore about eight miles southeast of Cape May on May 21; four BROWN PELICANS off Cape May on May 26; and a sub-adult BALD EAGLE headed south over Delaware Bay on the 27th.

A few ROYAL TERNS are being seen on the Cape May Point beaches, and numbers of immature NORTHERN GANNETS continue to be seen offshore. Both Green-winged and BLUE-WINGED TEAL are lingering in the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM).

A passage of migrant songbirds early in the week seemed to be the last hurrah for passerines as numbers have dropped considerably. Reed's Beach and other Delaware Bay shore beaches continue to hold good numbers of Horseshoe Crabs and shorebirds. This shorebird phenomenon generally continues into the first week of June.

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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