Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/6/2004
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 6th. Highlights from the last week include PURPLE GALLINULE, RUFF, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, BLACK-NECKED STILT, PILEATED WOODPECKER, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, and news the season.

The PURPLE GALLINULE continues at the Wetlands Institute, along Stone Harbor Blvd., reported most recently May 5th. The bird frequents the small patch of mixed habitat (primarily lawn, brush, and phragmites) between the parking lot and Stone Harbor Blvd. When resting in the middle of the brushy area, the bird is not visible, but it has not been seen leaving this small, unlikely area. It was first discovered here on April 15th.

A chestnut-and-black colored RUFF was seen on May 5th at the Bivalve Impoundments in Cumberland County, from the viewing area at the end of Strawberry Lane, along with an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and three WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS. A first year LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was also seen here on the 5th. A WHITE-WINGED DOVE has been seen May 5th and 6th in a yard at Coral & Cambridge in Cape May Point. Two BLACK-NECKED STILTS were observed May 2nd through the 4th in wetlands along Cooks Beach Road.

A PILEATED WOODPECKER, always scarce in Cape May County, flew over the intersection of Broadway and Canning House Lane in West Cape May on May 6th. A NORTHERN GOSHAWK entertained a birder on May 6th at the corner of Seashore & Townbank in Lower Township. A late SNOW BUNTING has been at the Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge through at least May 3rd. At least two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continue through May 6th in the back part of the Schellinger Tract, Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. This area is accessed off Bayshore Rd. just west of its junction with Rt. 47. Walk in along the grassy road near the National Wildlife Refuge signs beyond the firehouse. Another RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was seen in a residential area in West Cape May on May 5thh. The songbird migration is off to a slow start in Cape May this year, but a noticeable influx of birds was discovered on the morning of May 6th, with at least 18 species of warblers in Belleplain State Forest and 13 at the Schellinger Tract of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge this morning.

Please note that the free bridge connecting Nummy Island to south Stone Harbor is now closed until further notice for construction estimated date for reopening is late May. Nummy can still be accessed from North Wildwood Blvd.; drive past the road closed local traffic only sign and over the bridge.

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 CMBOs 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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