You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of
the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.
This week's tape ending May 9 includes sightings of
BLACK-NECKED STILT, LARK SPARROW, WILSON'S PLOVER,
WHITE-WINGED DOVE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, MISSISSIPPI KITE, and
more importantly, tips, lingering birds, and advice for the
World Series of Birding participants.
On May 11 at one minute after midnight, 53 teams from all
over the US and Canada and Great Britain will begin NJ
Audubon's 13th annual World Series of Birding. This 24-hour
birdathon will raise money for NJ Audubon's conservation
work in NJ, as well as for the numerous other conservation
groups participating in this event.
A few brief announcements for official teams:
--the finish line is at the Cape May Point State Park as
--All level one teams must submit their totals in person to
officials at the finish line before 12 o'clock midnight
EXCEPT the 2 "limited geographic area" teams that have
arranged ahead of time to FAX their official checklists.
--Brigantine, or the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, has
a $3 entrance fee.
--Lyme Disease is a problem in New Jersey. Please check
yourself for ticks.
--Be sure to read the rules sent to each team captain, for
instance: LURING BIRDS IN WITH RECORDED BIRDCALL TAPES IS
NOT PERMITTED. Drive sensibly; any team that is charged
with and subsequently convicted of a moving violation is
An announcement to all hotline listeners: The Higbee Beach
Dune route out to the beach is open, but ALL other dune
trails have been closed, and conservation officers are
ticketing and fining people in the dunes.
The Beanery is NOT a public area; this is private property,
and the farmers who own the fields have planted them.
Please do not walk through the fields at the Beanery.
Permission can be obtained from the owners, the Rays, to
walk around the perimeter of the fields, but they do
appreciate being asked.
Good luck to all teams and now on with the hotline.
A BLACK-NECKED STILT was seen at Goshen Landing Road on May
3, no further reports have been recieved.
A LARK SPARROW was in the Cape May Point State Park on
Monday, May 4; it has not been reported since.
A WILSON'S PLOVER spent two days on Ocean Drive on May 4-5.
A WHITE-WINGED DOVE was seen briefly on Wildon and Lincoln
Aves., Cape May Point, on May 5.
Two MISSISSIPPI KITES were seen this week, one over
Woodbine, May 5, and the other the same day near Stipson
Island Road, along Rt. 47.
A HARLEQUIN DUCK continues to be seen along the pilings on
the Coast Guard base, as viewed from Poverty Beach. This is
the Easternmost point in Cape May City, along the beach
drive. A walk up the beach to the base property may be
required to get an identifiable look.
A MARBLED GODWIT is being seen occasionally from Ocean
Drive, near 2-mile Landing; on May 9 it was seen on
Thorofare Island-- this is to the west of the tollbridge,
on the north side of the bridge.
A WHITE-WINGED SCOTER along with BONAPARTES GULLS were seen
at Norbury's Landing on May 9. BLACK SCOTERS and SURF
SCOTERS are being seen at several locations: both species
are between Poverty Beach and the Coast Guard base; 4 SURF
SCOTERS were along Ocean Drive in Cape May Harbor, a BLACK
SCOTER was at Reed's beach, and several of both were off
Stone Harbor near 114th st.
RUDDY DUCKS have been seen at the South Cape May Meadows;
near the ferry terminal jetty on the north side of the
canal; off Pierces Point (off Rt. 47 on the Bayshore).
GREEN-WINGED TEAL were seen this week in the South Cape May
Meadows, and at Fishing Creek Marsh just north of The
Villas. BLUE-WINGED TEAL have been seen in the same two
locations. GADWALL are being seen regularly in the South
Cape May Meadows.
An amazing 25 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were at Cape May
Harbor on May 7. GREATER SCAUP, CANVASBACK, and RING-NECKED
DUCKS were all at Heislerville impoundments on May 5.
RED-THROATED LOONS have been seen off Poverty Beach, and
off Stone Harbor at 114th.
NORTHERN GANNET has been present off the north end of Stone
Harbor, and several were seen from Delaware Bayshore
overlooks on May 9. A SNOW GOOSE was at the north end of
Reed's Beach on May 9. A pair of AMERICAN KESTRELS is
regular on the wires along Kimbles Beach Road, near the new
Cape May National Wildlife Refuge office.
Both SORA and VIRGINIA RAIL have been calling from the Cape
May Meadows all week, and LEAST BITTERNS were present there
this week, for the first time this spring.
RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS have been seen regularly at Higbee
Beach this week. WILD TURKEYS have been seen this week on
Old Robbins Trail Rd., which is the first road off Jakes
Landing Road; take it to the white cedar swamp. The Turkeys
have been seen just past the white cedar.
Belleplain State Forest is again good for SUMMER TANAGER,
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, WORM-EATING and
HOODED WARBLERS, ACADIAN FLYCATCHER, and LOUISIANA
WATERTHRUSH, good roads to explore are Sunset Road, Pine
Swamp Road, New Bridge Road, and Cedar Bridge Road. Jakes
Landing Road has a good breeding population of YELLOW-
THROATED WARBLERS, and SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS and SEASIDE SPARROWS
can be found at the salt marsh at the end of Jakes Landing
Road, or across the creek. This road is off Rt. 47 1.5
miles north of the WAWA Market in Dennisville in Rt. 47.
HORSESHOE CRABS began laying eggs about a week and a half
ago, numbers built on May 3 with the full moon with about
150-200 crabs counted on the beach. The Shorebirds are
arriving; RED KNOTS, RUDDY TURNSTONES, SANDERLINGS, &
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS are all being seen. Numbers will
build each day until mid-to-late May. Thousands will be
concentrated on the beaches of the Delaware Bay. Reed's
Beach is a good viewing location but it is also a
year-round community. Please Park in the Marina parking lot
at the end of Reed's Beach Road. Parking is $1 per car, and
supports ecotourism. Use the jetty or viewing platform; do
not flush the birds and do not tresspass on private
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are regular at CMBO's feeders.
HERONS, EGRETS & IBIS are again nesting at Stone Harbor Pt.
and on Sedge Island, directly inland from the Stone Harbor
Bird Sanctuary; also for the first time they are nesting at
Avalon's Community Park.
KILLDEER, HORNED LARKS & MEADOWLARKS are all likely at
Cape May County Airport, which is southwest of Rio Grande
and reached via Breakwater Road. The Commuter Flight
parking lot is a good vantage point.
Higbee Beach has nesting YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BLUE
GROSBEAK, INDIGO BUNTING, WHITE-EYED VIREOS, and hopefully
some migrants as well.
Some final words of advice to WSB participants: Don't
over-extend yourself; keep up the record of happy endings
to this event. Keep speed limits safe and tolerant, and
please don't behave in a manner that would reflect
negatively on this event or birding in general. Please
don't give birding a bad name. Good luck, and see you at
the finish line.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.