Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 6/27/2002
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, June 27, 2002. Highlights from the last week include WHITE-FACED IBIS, KING RAIL, VIRGINIA RAIL, LEAST BITTERN, and BLACK TERN.

A WHITE-FACED IBIS was found at the Brigantine unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on June 26th. The bird was near the dog-leg on the north dike, around the northeast corner of the West Pool, with about 20 Glossy Ibis.

A KING RAIL has been seen at The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, also known as the South Cape May Meadows, on June 21st through at least the 23rd. A juvenile VIRGINIA RAIL was seen here, at the Meadows, on June 26th. LEAST BITTERNS have been seen several times during the last week here and also at Lighthouse Pond in Cape May Point State Park.

A BLACK TERN was seen from the "Skimmer" boat in the salt marsh behind Wildwood on the evening of June 22nd.

Observers are still finding a few pelagic birds from shore around Cape May. Two or three SHEARWATERS seen far from shore from Cape May Point on June 26th were narrowed down to either CORY'S SHEARWATER or GREATER SHEARWATER. Six to ten individual WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS were seen from the Reed's Beach Jetty on June 25th. A NORTHERN GANNET was seen from shore at Cape May on June 27th.

BROWN PELICAN numbers are increasing, with 30 reported from Stone Harbor Pt. on June 23rd, 15 from Cape May Point on June 25th, 11 from the Avalon Seawatch on June 27th, and a smattering of other reports.

PIPING PLOVERS and LEAST TERNS are nesting on the beach at the South Cape May Meadows, near the point where the east path crosses the dune. A pair of AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS is frequenting the beach here, too, and may be nesting nearby.

Shorebird numbers have already begun to increase ever-so-slightly, perhaps bringing the very first glimmer of autumn migration to Cape May. GREATER YELLOWLEGS, DUNLIN, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER have all been reported during the last week.

A full-day pelagic trip from Cape May has been planned for Friday, August 23. Contact Mary Gustafson for more details & to register (302-559-5640).

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration, and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and include some reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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