Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 6/16/1994
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 16, 1994, include: BLACK-TAILED GODWIT [in Delaware], SWAINSON'S WARBLER, ROSEATE, ROYAL, and CASPIAN TERNS, PARASITIC JAEGER, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, BROWN PELICAN, VIRGINIA RAIL, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, BRANT, an announcement about problems at Higbee Beach, local nature notes, and program notes. The bird of the week is across the bay in Delaware. A BLACK-TAILED GODWIT was first reported to CMBO June 11, and has been seen daily since, including today, June 16. The bird is ten miles north of the ferry terminal at Lewes, Delaware, near Prime Hook NWR. To reach the site from Lewes, follow Rt. 1 north; turn right onto the road to Broadkill Beach and Prime Hook NWR. Continue past the road into Prime Hook refuge; after a curve, and once the road straightens, look for a pond on the right. You're there. Good luck. A RUFF was at the same location on June 13. The SWAINSON'S WARBLER that has been here most of the spring is still singing at Higbee Beach, in the woods across from the overflow parking lot on New England Rd. It was most recently heard several days ago. A reminder -- tapes are illegal at Higbee Beach State Wildlife Management Area. An adult ROSEATE TERN was seen June 12 at Cape May Point State Park in Bunker Pond, along with 2 CASPIAN TERNS and 2 ROYAL TERNS. Observers on the Cape May - Lewes Ferry saw a PARASITIC JAEGER and numbers of WILSON'S STORM PETREL on June 14. Thirty to forty WILSON'S STORM PETREL and a BROWN PELICAN were seen off the Wildwood beach front on June 11. And a BROWN PELICAN was seen near the Concrete Ship the same day. BROWN PELICANS have been scarce this spring and summer, so any sightings reports are welcome; please continue to call them in. A singing YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was seen June 9 in Cape May Point, and June 11 at the State Park. This is an unusual summer bird at the point, though quite common further north at Belleplain State Forest and Jake's Landing Road. VIRGINIA RAILS are in the Nature Conservancy preserve, Cape May Meadows, on Sunset Blvd., again raising young this summer. One young bird was seen there June 15. There are a few winter birds lingering. One WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and two BRANT were in the back bay waters on June 11, seen by the Jersey Cape Nature Excursions boat trip that day. Once again, the herons and egrets are absent from the traditional nesting site at the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary. They have relocated nearby at 2 sites: the undeveloped southern end of Stone Harbor Point (where the bulk of the birds are nesting) and on Sedge Island on the bayside. Chris Bennet of the Wetlands Institute has been recording the numbers of birds using the Point, and recently estimated: 1700 to 2000 GLOSSY IBIS; 700 - 800 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS; 9 YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS; 100 - 200 SNOWY EGRETS; 50 - 100 GREAT EGRETS; 50 - 100 CATTLE EGRETS; 40 LITTLE BLUE HERONS; 6 TRICOLORED HERONS; 2 GREEN HERONS. The LITTLE BLUE and TRICOLORED HERON numbers are low, since most of these are nesting on the Sedge Island site. Due to some problems at Higbee Beach, the parking lot was closed on June 14. Arrests were made, and if the problems do not clear up the main parking lot and the overflow lot as well will need to be closed. This does not mean that Higbee Beach WMA is closed to birders, but it causes problems if you are driving to get there. Ride a bike or walk from the Hidden Valley parking lot on New England Road. Local nature notes: Hackberry Emperor butterflies have recently emerged and might be seen where ever Hackberry trees grow, for example Higbee Beach's parking lot [!]. Bronze Coppers have recently emerged and may be found in old cranberry bogs in northern Cape May County and in southern Atlantic county. Common Milkweed and Butterfly-weed are just beginning to bloom and will make butterflying easier. PIPING PLOVER and LEAST TERN are again nesting at the South Cape May Meadows; Higbee Beach has numbers of nesting YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BLUE GROSBEAK, INDIGO BUNTING, YELLOW WARBLERS & WHITE-EYED VIREOS, all quite vocal. [program notes omitted -LL] 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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