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 June 10 include: MISSISSIPPI KITE, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, COMMON NIGHTHAWK, BLACK-NECKED STILT, a few late migrants, some lingering waterfowl, an announcement about Higbee Beach, and news of upcoming programs.
A MISSISSIPPI KITE was seen along Sea Grove Ave. on June 6. WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS have been seen around Delaware Bay this week, from both the Cape May Ferry and from the whale watch boat. In coming weeks, these petrels should be visible from shore around the Cape May Point.
A COM. NIGHTHAWK was seen flying due north through the Villas on June 8. A few migrants could still be found this week around the Point. A BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER was near the Beanery June 4, and a PARULA was at Higbee Beach on June 8, along with a migrant N. Oriole. In the lingering waterfowl category was a SURF SCOTER at Second Ave. on June 2, a COM. LOON at the Bunker on June 3, and a RED-THROATED LOON off the Point on June 6.
A pair of BLACK-NECKED STILTS are nesting in the marsh at the end of Goshen Landing Rd. Wander along the creek a bit to the left and look across towards the Delaware Bay. The birds are in front of, and in line with, a duck blind. This is the first known nesting of BLACK-NECKED STILTS in New Jersey in 124 years.
Now that we are into the second week of June, the shorebird show on the Delaware Bay has slowed down and will come to a halt any day. After all, these birds need to get to the Arctic tundra and breed. Some will even be back as early as late June.
If you have visited Cape May recently, you've probably been surprised to find it nearly impossible to park at Higbee Beach. The main parking lot is closed; but Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area is not closed. There is a parking lot down the road to the right of the main lot, though this is sometimes full of fishermen since it's near the jetty. If you're concerned about the parking situation at Higbee Beach, call or stop by CMBO to get the addresses and phone numbers where you can write or call to express your concerns.
Local nature notes follow. The breeding season is in full swing. Many birds have young, and are already beginning their second brood. One yard in Salem county has two active Hummingbird nests as of June 3, so stay alert in your own yard if you have Hummingbirds. Elderberry and Japanese Honeysuckle are coming into bloom, and the Honeysuckle has distracted most hummingbirds from our feeders. Do, however, continue to clean the feeders weekly and refill with fresh solution; the birds will return when the Honeysuckle starts to wane.
CMBO will be offering butterfly counts on June 19, 26, and 27; Birdwatching for Beginners, a 2-day course, is scheduled for June 26-27, and each month thereafter. All programs require pre-registration. To learn more about these and other CMBO programs and field trips, write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ, 08212, or call (609) 884-2736.
The Cape May birding hotline is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thanks for calling; good birding.