You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey
Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory [CMBO]. Highlights for the week
ending June 27
include news of MISSISSIPPI KITE, BALD EAGLE, PEREGRINE FALCON, PARASITIC
CORY'S & GREATER SHEARWATER, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN KINGBIRD,
BOBOLINK, BROWN PELICAN, SHARP-TAILED SPARROW & SEASIDE SPARROW, ROYAL TERN, LEAST
BITTERN, an announcement regarding a special CMBO sponsored boat tour to
Island aboard The Skimmer, news of breeding birds at Higbees, Hidden Valley,
Meadows," local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field
A subadult MISSISSIPPI KITE was seen June 21 over Cape May Point State Park.
we have held onto them this spring and early summer because of the abundant
17 year Cicadas??? Also in the raptor news, an immature BALD EAGLE passed
over Higbee Beach
[Wildlife Management Area] on June 22. And an adult male PEREGRINE FALCON was
hunting Sunset Boulevard on June 26 from the Magnesite Plant water tower.
An adult light form PARASITIC JAEGER put on a terrific show on June 21 as if
over The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge [The Meadows or
TNC], headed towards the State Park and eventually disappeared towards Lily
Lake. It was picked
up by another observer at the Concrete Ship. The Whale Watcher Researcher
trips reported seeing both CORY'S and GREATER SHEARWATERS on June 25 and 26.
A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was seen briefly the evening of June 21 at the
A WESTERN KINGBIRD flew over the Cape May Point State Park on June 26.
A southbound BOBOLINK flew over Sunset Boulevard the morning of June 21.
fall is here!
BROWN PELICANS have been sighted this week at Stone Harbor on June 23, 1 at
Stites Avenue Beach on the 23rd, and 3 at the the Meadows on the 25th.
Both SHARP-TAILED SPARROW and SEASIDE SPARROW can be seen on Ocean Drive
Cape May and Wildwood Crest. Soon after you get onto Ocean Drive from the
Parkway, look for the low grass area of saltmarsh between Mill Creek and
Breezy Lea Marina. This is the habitat they prefer!
Unexpected in late June were the recent sightings of N. GANNETS and Scoters.
On June 21st 2 immature N. GANNET, 8 SURF SCOTER, and 2 BLACK SCOTER were seen
out over the ocean from the Meadows. From the Avalon Seawatch at 7th Street and
the beach in Avalon, Dave Ward reports 25 N. GANNET going north on June 24,
and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS moving on June 23 and 26.
A ROYAL TERN was seen at Cape May Point on June 20. And LEAST BITTERN nest
Cape May Point State Park and can be seen in Bunker Pond or some of the
ponds on the trails.
Bob Carlough, of The Skimmer birding by boat tours, reports that last week just
about all the marsh nesters had newly hatched young, which are growing in
leaps and bounds -- including lots of LAUGHING GULL chicks, FORSTER'S and
COMMON TERN chicks, sizable chicks in all the OSPREY nests now, and AMERICAN
Champagne Island, the sand island in Hereferd Inlet between Stone Harbor and
North Wildwood, is the site of the largest nesting colony of BLACK SKIMMERS
in the state, with about 500 pairs, as well as about 500 pairs of nesting
COMMON TERNS, and several pairs of nesting GULL-BILLED TERNS. BROWN
PELICANS are regularly found roosting
there from summer through late fall. Also, by July it's a favorite roost
site for other terns and migrant shorebirds. Most sightings of Roseate,
Caspian, and Royal Terns in the summer occur here! The Skimmer, a very
foot catamaran with open and enclosed viewing decks, runs three daily
boat trips and each week the Friday evening, Sunday afternoon, and Monday
trips are sponsored by CMBO and benefit CMBO. Details follow and are found
end of this tape in program information. The special CMBO sponsored boat
trip every Friday evening from 5:30-8:30 p.m. will visit Champagne Island.
To register for
these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3100and
say you learned of the trips through CMBO!
The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge has 9 PIPING PLOVER
chicks they're keeping a close eye on. And LEAST TERN chicks should hatch
this week. TNC's refuge also has nesting LEAST BITTERNS, listen for their
"woo woo woo" calls to give their presence away. Now through the end of
August, TNC staff and interns are offering the following walks: Every Friday
at 8 a.m. Clay Sutton, TNC's Naturalist/Ecologist, will lead a three-hour
walk. The fee is $8. Every Wednesday and Every Saturday evening at 6 p.m.
TNC interns will lead one-hour walks for free.
Avalon's Boro Park at 72nd Street is harboring a sizeable heronry this
summer, including numbers of nesting BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS and YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS,
and EGRETS. This is excellent news now that the Stone Harbor Heronry is
The Higbee Beach Parking Lots are closed now for the summer, but Higbee
Beach WMA is still open to birding and butterfly watching. Park in the
Hidden Valley Parking Lot, which is the small clamshell parking lot on the
south side of New England Road 0.3 miles past the intersection with Bayshore
Road -- and walk down to Higbees! Birding
is great the length of the road and once you get to Higbees explore the five
and their hedgerows for nesting YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS, PRAIRIE WARBLERS,
INDIGO BUNTINGS, BLUE GROSBEAKS, WHITE-EYED VIREOS, and more! Many of these
nest at Hidden Valley. There explore the fields, the wet woods, and the inner
pasture and overlooks of Pond Creek Marsh, a freshwater cattail marsh. INDIGO
BUNTING, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, ORCHARD ORIOLE, and PROTHONOTARY WARBLER can
seen there. And the marsh has nesting LEAST BITTERN and COMMON MOORHEN.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are on nests now, but in just the last week
activity has really increased, making us wonder if some of the young haven't
just fledged. CMBO's feeders are quite active. If you have hummingbird
feeders in your yard, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each week and
refill with fresh solution. Otherwise the solution ferments and can be
dangerous to the hummers.
Local Nature Notes follow: 1,000's of WANDERING GLIDERS, with GREEN
DARNERS, BLACK-MANTLED GLIDERS, and VIOLET-MASKED GLIDERS mixed in were in the air
over the County on June 26. They were so thick that it was hard for cars
run into them. The Cape May Butterfly Count on June 22 was quite successful
with a total of 39 species seen. It's been a late spring and early summer for
butterflies, and by the very next day many more butterflies were seen than
had been seen during the count. So, they're just "popping" or emerging!
Highlights of the count include a HAYHURST'S SCALLOPWING in the Cape May
Point State Park at the end of the Blue Trail, 3 Hoary Edge at Rio Grande,
HACKBERRY EMPERORS and TAWNY EMPERORS just
beginning to fly, 1 Appalachian Brown at Rio Grande, and 3 on Fulling Mill
Road. Hairstreaks were very low! No Banded Hairstreaks were seen and only
2 CORAL HAIRSTREAKS and 2 RED-BANDED HAIRSTREAKS were found. Just a few days later on
June 24 100 Banded
Hairstreaks were seen in Atlantic County. On the 22nd several fully grown
MONARCH caterpillars were found, much to our surprise, since so few adults
have been seen to date. Garden Fennel and Bronze Fennel has lots of Black
here at CMBO's garden and other gardens. Trumpet Creeper is just beginning
in some locations, a favorite with hummingbirds. Common Milkweed, Dogbane,
and Butterfly Weed are coming into full bloom, all favorites with butterflies!
Everlasting Pea is in bloom, great for skippers.
News of CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs include the "Belleplain
Butterfly Count" on June 28, the "Cumberland Butterfly Count" on June 29,
and a two-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" on June 29-30.
CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard THE SKIMMER are offered Every
from 1:30-4:30 p.m. and Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., as well
as the Friday evening trips mentioned earlier on the Hotline. To register
for these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at
609-884-3100 and say you learned
of the trips through CMBO!
Our daily bird walks are underway and require no preregistration -- JUST
COME! Every Tuesday Pete Dunne leads a "Birds of the Seashore" walk through
The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, meeting at 7:30
a.m. Every Saturday
Tom Parsons, Fred Mears, or Bill Glaser leads a "Birding Cape May Point"
walk, meeting at 7:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May
Point State Park. Every Friday Bill Glaser leads a "Sunset Bird Walk"
through The Nature Conservancy's Cape
May Migratory Bird Refuge, meeting at 6:30 p.m. Beginning in July a "Cape
May Point Bird Walk" will be offered Every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. Stop by
our office and
pick up the program schedule for more details or give us a call at
609-884-2736 and we'll mail it to you.
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
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 send a request for information 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
Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open daily, 9-5.
The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May
Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and
and near shore waters. Updates are made on Thursday evenings, more often if
warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at
609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!