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 17 include: LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SEDGE WREN, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, N. GANNET, BROWN PELICAN, BALD EAGLE, ROYAL TERN, an announcement about Higbee Beach, and news of upcoming programs.
The LAPLAND LONGSPUR reported on the last tape lingered until June 11, but has not been seen since. A SEDGE WREN was reported from the end of Jake's Landing Rd. on June 12. At least 2 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS continue to linger in the vicinity of Higbee Beach, being seen on June 15 and 16. The rips off Cape May Point produced 2 WILSON'S STORM-PETREL and 3 N. GANNETS on June 14, and 2 BROWN PELICANS on June 15. BROWN PELICAN sightings have been scarce this year, and one of the sightings last weekend was of a bird way offshore at the limit of vision.
BALD EAGLES were seen at 2 locations on June 13; one was over The Villas, headed toward Fishing Creek; and it actually stole a fish successfully from an Osprey. Another was over Reed's Beach. A ROYAL TERN was at Second Ave., also on June 13.
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 are already on their second brood. The first PIPING PLOVER chicks have hatched in the Cape May Meadows June 2, and the second pair's young were hatching on June 10. The Meadows has 3 pairs of Piping Plover and about 20 Least Tern nests this year. Honeysuckle is now in full bloom and 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, July 24-25, and each month thereafter. Shorebird ID workshops and walks are scheduled for July 10, 24 and 31. Higbee Beach morning birdwalks begin July 4. 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.