Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 6/15/1995
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending June 15 include sightings of WILSON'S STORM PETREL, BROWN PELICAN, SURF & BLACK SCOTER, BLACK TERN, ROSEATE, ROYAL and ARCTIC TERN, Humpbacked Whales, BLACK-NECKED STILT, news of spring hawk flights and nature notes.

#'s of WILSON'S STORM PETRELS have been seen from shore this week. June 14th, 79 were in sight at once from the end of Sunset Boulevard and the 15th, 20 were counted from Whilldan Avenue in Cape May Point. Don't necessarily expect to see petrel with the naked eye, but instead scan the waters offshore and all the way out to the horizon, looking for black swallow-like birds that appear to be walking on the water -- dipping and darting among the waves low over the water. While you are scanning also be on the lookout for BROWN PELICAN, N. GANNETS, and a few lingering SURF and BLACK SCOTER. A lingering COMMON LOON has been seen recently in the waters around Stone Harbor. Jersey Cape Nature Excursions' "Backbay Boat Trip" reported it on June 8th.

The waters off Cape May Point known as the "the rips," where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, were HOT birdwise on June 11. 1 BLACK TERN, 1 ROSEATE TERN, 4 ROYAL TERNS, and 1 ARCTIC TERN were all seen.

While you are scanning those offshore waters, be on the lookout for whales! 5 Humpback Whales were in the waters off Cape May on June 11, one of which was seen as recently as June 14 way up the Delaware Bay near Mauricetown.

2 BLACK-NECKED STILTS were seen briefly in the morning of June 11 in the The Nature Conservency's South Cape May Meadows, as well as an AMERICAN BITTERN.

A mini spring hawk flight occurred on June 9th over Cape May Point, including 3 BLACK VULTURES, 3 BROAD-WINGED HAWKS, 1 RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, 1 COOPER'S HAWK, and 1 immature BALD EAGLE. An immature BALD EAGLE was also seen over the South Cape May Meadows on June 14.

The spring's last MISSISSIPPI KITES were seen June 8th, 3 birds over the Beanery!

The Nature Conservency's preserve on Sunset Boulevard again has breeding PIPING PLOVER and LEAST TERNS. These nests are on the open beach, so very vulnerable to disturbance. PIPING PLOVER chicks are hatching now. VIRGINIA RAIL and LEAST BITTERN also breed in the freshwater marsh on this property. On June 8 and 9, WILLOW FLYCATCHERS were heard calling along the East Path through the Meadows, no doubt on territory.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS are again breeding in the Cape May County Park on Route 9, just north of Cape May Court House. Drive straight into the Park, continue to the zoo (which is on your left), and the RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS are in the oak woods to your right. Stroll around the amidst the picnic shelters to find them. They nest in the oaks with holes.

The saltmarsh habitat at the end of Jakes Landing Road attracts a number of breeding birds that may be hard to see elsewhere, like SEASIDE SPARROW, N. HARRIER, and CLAPPER RAIL to name a few. And the pine stands mixed forest along the road out to Jakes Landing have again attracted breeding YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, OVENBIRDS, WOOD THRUSH, WHITE-EYED VIREO, BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, and RUFFED GROUSE.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are regular at CMBO's feeders and in people's yards where hummingbird and butterfly gardens have been planted.

The state of NJ has closed the parking lots at Higbee Beach WMA -- again for the summer. This does not mean that Higbee Beach is closed, just the parking lots. You can still bird and butterfly the area, but you must be dropped off there, ride a bike, or park in the Hidden Valley parking lot further up New England Road and walk down. The parking lot closures are the state's attempt to address illicit activities that occur there during warm summer months.

[Local Nature Notes and Program Information Omitted]

The 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, and the Observatory, call our office at 609-884-2736 or a send a request for info to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area, do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.

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 J. Bickal (jbickal@pluto.njcc.net) for 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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