Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/27/2004
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 27th. Highlights from the last week include BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, SWAINSON'S WARBLER, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, SANDWICH TERN, ROSEATE TERN, BLACK TERN, ARCTIC TERN, and MISSISSIPPI KITE.

Nine flyover BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS were reported from The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows") on May 25th, but there have been no subsequent sightings.

A SWAINSON'S WARBLER was seen on May 24th and heard on the 23rd and 25th in Cape May Point, along the east side of Lighthouse Ave. in the dense wet woods between junctions with East Lake and Oak.

A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was noted on May 23rd in the dunes at Corson's Inlet State Park, Ocean City. Two SANDWICH TERNS, one ROSEATE TERN, and one BLACK TERN were found on May 24th and 25th off Cape May Point near the St. Peters "Gingerbread" Church. Three ARCTIC TERNS were found at Stone Harbor Point on May 24th, and two ROSEATE TERNS here on May 22nd

MISSISSIPPI KITE reports are tapering off, with 4 at the Rea Farm on May 23rd our most recent report.

WILLOW FLYCATCHERS have arrived, with birds found during the last week at The Meadows, Two Mile Beach, and Cape May Point State Park. Northbound migrant songbirds are still trickling through in very small numbers. The nesting season is in full swing for songbirds, waders, gulls, and the few shorebird species that nest in southern New Jersey. Many terns are active around Stone Harbor Point, and a major nesting colony may develop there again this summer.

The spring migration of shorebirds along Delaware Bay has probably just passed its peak, and the high count of RED KNOTS from aerial census work was a disappointing 13,315. Good numbers of shorebirds should remain through most of the coming week; Fortescue, in Cumberland County, has been one of the best locations for numbers and variety, especially at low tide.

The PURPLE GALLINULE along Stone Harbor Blvd. has not been reported since May 17th.

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 the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, 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 also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your 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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