Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 5/7/1992
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 7 include HARRIS' SPARROW, PURPLE GALLINULE, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, WARBLING VIREO, SUMMER TANAGER, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, BROWN PELICAN, MISSISSIPPI KITE, BLACK TERN, GULL-BILLED TERN, CURLEW SANDPIPER, GOLDEN PLOVER, STILT SANDPIPER, PARASITIC JAEGER, numbers of Shorebirds, VIRGINIA RAIL, a ton of warbler and landbird sightings, an announcement about a pre-World Series birding team meeting to share bird sites, local nature notes, and, news of the Cape May Bird Observatory's upcoming programs. The first county record for HARRIS' SPARROW was this week, when one was seen on May 3 at Higbee's Beach; but unfortunately it has not been seen since. A PURPLE GALLINULE was discovered May 3 at the Beanery. The bird was down the tracks, in the pond on the right, or north, side, across from the pigpen. It was seen again May 5. A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was seen briefly on May 4 at Cape May Point State Park. A WARBLING VIREO was singing, and a SUMMER TANAGER was seen at Higbee's beach on the morning of May 3. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was seen on the 3d at Higbee's, and another on the 5th. Pelicans came in this week; one was seen on May 2, at Corson's inlet, and 4 were seen on the ocean off Cape May on May 4. Cape May's first Mississippi Kite of the spring was reported on May 4 over Sunset Blvd., and our hawkwatcher at Sandy Hook saw one on May 1. Brigantine held 1 BLACK TERN and 4 GULL-BILLED Terns on May 3. A CURLEW SANDPIPER was reported from Nummy's Island, the salt-marsh island just south of Stone Harbor on Ocean Drive, on May 7, and a GOLDEN PLOVER was seen there on the 6th. A STILT SANDPIPER was seen May 4 in the pond on Ocean Drive just north of Cape May, across from the Canyon Club. An adult PARASITIC JAEGER was seen offshore from Nummy's Island on May 6. Low tide at Shell Bay Landing on May 1 produced 10,000+ Dunlin, 50 Whimbrel, hundreds of Black-bellied Plover and Dowitchers, and numbers of Least Sandpipers and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. Shell Bay Landing can be reached from the Garden State Parkway at mile marker 8.4, heading east. Virginia Rails have been seen and heard calling in the South Cape May Meadows this week; this is the Nature Conservancy refuge on Sunset Blvd. Last weekend's front pushed lots of landbirds our way, and with the week's weather nearly all these birds stayed and were found off and on all week. Rose-breasted Grosbeak reports came in from a number of locations, including visitors to sunflower feeders. The most recent sighting was of a bird on Bayshore Road near the entrance to Hidden Valley Ranch Six Solitary Vireos were at Higbee's on May 2; Orioles have been seen all over the point and all over the county all week. The Beanery held N. Parula, Black-throated Green, and N. Oriole on May 4th; and Cerulean, Brewster's, Black-throated Blue, and Parula Warblers on May 6th. Birds that nest at Higbee's Beach are in, in force: Prairie Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, Yellow-breasted Chats, Field Sparrows, and more. Southern swamp nesters can be found in the wet woods in Belleplain State Forest; try Jake's Landing Road and Pine Swamp Road for Hooded Warblers, Prothonotary Warbler, N. Parula Warbler, Phoebe, N. Waterthrush, Acadian Flycatcher, and Ovenbird. The dryer woods in Belleplain hold Summer Tanager, possibly some Red-headed Woodpeckers, Bluebirds, and many Pine Warblers. And Jake's Landing Road is again a stronghold for nesting Yellow-throated Warblers. Keep an eye offshore and on the waters around the Second Ave. Jetty for lingering Common and Red-throated Loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Scoters, Bonaparte's Gulls, and N. Gannets-- all have been seen this week. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, here since late April, have been very regular at the Cape May Bird Observatory feeders at 707 Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Hang your feeders now, and be sure to plant lots of flowers that will attract Hummingbirds if you hope to attract nesters in your yard. Remember, keep your Hummingbird feeders clean, wash them out regularly once a week, and fill them with fresh solution. An announcement about next week's World Series of Birding: any team interested is invited to come to the Chalfonte Hotel on the evening of May 14th at 7:30 PM, to share birds with other teams. The Chalfonte is in Cape May at the corner of Columbia and Howard Streets. 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 birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, phone our office or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. The Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if warranted. [Compiled by CMBO staff; transcribed by L. Larson (llarson@pucc.princeton.edu).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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