You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of
the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.
Highlights of the week ending June 1, 1995, include:
SOOTY SHEARWATER, MANX SHEARWATER, NORTHERN GANNET,
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, MISSISSIPPI KITE, RED-NECKED
PHALAROPE, STILT SANDPIPER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, BROWN
PELICAN, COMMON NIGHTHAWK, news of late spring migrants, an
announcement about Higbee Beach, local nature notes.
Higbee Beach announcement:
The State of New Jersey has closed Higbee's Beach parking
lots for the summer. This does not mean that Higbee is
closed, just the parking lots. You can still bird and
butterfly the area- but you must be dropped off, or ride a
bike, or park at the Hidden Valley parking lot further
along New England Road. The parking lot closures are the
state's attempt to address illicit activities that occur
there during warm summer months.
May 28 SOOTY SHEARWATER reports came in from many places.
Thirty were seen in the waters off Stone Harbor. Two were
seen from the Cape May Whale Watcher boat. One was seen off
the Cape May Meadows, and 4 were seen off Cape May Point.
Trips aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry on May 28 produced a
MANX SHEARWATER on the 7 AM crossing, as well as a WILSON'S
STORM-PETREL on the May 30th 8 AM crossing. The Cape May
Whale Watcher also reported WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, SOOTY
SHEARWATERS and a Humpbacked Whale on May 29. And on June
1, another SOOTY SHEARWATER was in the surf right off the
Cape May Meadows.
Two MISSISSIPPI KITES continued to be seen through May 30.
Two RED-NECKED PHALAROPES 4 STILT SANDPIPER and over 100
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS were seen at Brigantine on May 26.
BROWN PELICANS are here again and being seen offshore.
Two COMMON NIGHTHAWKS have been seen daily this week over
Cape May Point; they have been calling and displaying each
evening. This may be the first breeding pair known to use
Cape May Point.
A few landbirds are still migrating through. Two
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS, a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, a
RED-EYED VIREO and an AMERICAN REDSTART were seen today,
June 1, at Cape May Point. An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was at
Higbee Beach in the first field on May 30.
A CMBO field trip May 27 to Belleplain State Forest saw
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, PRAIRIE
WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, PARULA
WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA, HOODED WARBLER, & BLUE-WINGED
WARBLER, as well as LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, OVENBIRD, GREAT
CRESTED FLYCATCHER, ACADIAN FLYCATCHER, SUMMER TANAGER,
BLACK-VULTURE, and BROAD-WINGED HAWK. Maps of Belleplain
are available at the Forest Field Office on Rt. 550.
Concentrations of RED KNOTS on the Delaware Bayshore peaked
on May 21 and have now dropped off. RUDDY TURNSTONES are
still at Reed's Beach in force; SEMIPALMATED
SANDPIPERS seem to prefer the Cumberland County beaches at
East Point and Fortescue. Reed's Beach is one of the best
viewing beaches; it has official viewing platforms, good
signage, weekend wardens, and specially arranged parking at
the Marina at the end of Reed's Beach Road. The $1 parking
fee helps build good will and promotes ecotourism. Through
June 3, CMBO is offering daily naturalist-led field trips
to witness this phenomenon.
The PIPING PLOVERS which breed in the Nature Conservancy
sanctuary we call the Meadows are experiencing one of their
best years, with 4 or 5 pairs present. Their nests are on
the open beach and are very vulnerable to disturbance.On
May 30 one of the Plover nests had 4 chicks. Also breeding
here, in the freshwater marsh, is VIRGINIA RAIL.
RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS are again breeding in the Cape May
County Park on Rt. 9 just north of the town of Cape May
Court House. They nest in the oak trees with holes, across
the road from the Zoo.
The salt marsh habitat at the end of the road attracts a
number of breeding birds like SEASIDE SPARROW, NORTHERN
HARRIER, & CLAPPER RAIL. The pine stands along Jake's
Landing Road are good for YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS which
Local nature notes follow. Belleplain State Forest is
beautiful now, Mountain Laurel is just coming into bloom
and lines many of the roadways. Honeysuckle is attracting
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS away from our feeders, but
they'll be back when it wanes; be sure to clean the feeder
regularly. Some inconspicuous flowers also in bloom now are
Poison ivy and American Holly.
The spring butterflies are all but gone. One worn PINE
ELFIN was seen this week. RED-SPOTTED PURPLES and the
SWALLOWTAILS are now in evidence. LEAST SKIPPERS were
suddenly common June 1. Be alert for thistle leaves that
are webbed together; they are housing caterpillars of
PAINTED LADY butterflies.
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.