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 24 include: BROWN PELICAN, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, summering waterfowl, returning shorebirds, local nature notes, an announcement about Higbee Beach, and news of upcoming programs.
A few BROWN PELICANS were seen this week at various locales. Three were off The Villas on June 17; two were off the State Park June 18, and one at the same location on June 23. Up to ten were at the Concrete Ship on June 21. Pelican sightings have been down considerably from the past few years.
An unusual bird in June, a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, was found this week along the red-blazed nature trail in the Cape May Point State Park. Also unusual at this date was a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH seen on Sea Grove Ave. on June 23, and another was seen at Goshen on the same date.
A SURF SCOTER was seen off the South Cape May Meadows along with a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER on June 22. While summer has just started, some shorebirds have begun fall migration, already back from the Arctic tundra. On June 23, the Meadows held ten LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER.
On June 19, the Cape May Bird Observatory's dragonfly and damselfly walk yielded 29 species, two of them new for the site. The following day the Cape May County butterfly count totaled 38 species, a very respectable number.
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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. 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.
CMBO will be offer butterfly counts on June 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 Sunday morning birdwalks begin July 4. Regular weekly Bird Walks for Beginners begin July 7. 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 includes 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.