You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of
the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.
Highlights for the week ending June 29 1995 include
sightings of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, BROWN PELICAN,
NORTHERN GANNET, WILSON'S STORM PETREL, PIPING PLOVER,
LEAST BITTERN, announcements, nature notes, etc.
A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL in second-winter plumage was
seen June 28 from the beach front in Cape May Point.
Some good birds can be seen by scanning the waters off the
beach front. BROWN PELICANS are being seen daily, feeding
offshore or flying along the beach. Also look out for
NORTHERN GANNET; two were seen June 28 off the Point. Other
offshore sightings: WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, four June 28;
ROYAL TERN, one June 21; and several BLACK SCOTERS and
COMMON LOONS as well.
Young are hatching in the local colonies of GULLS, TERNS, &
SKIMMERS. The Nature Conservancy's preserve on Sunset
Boulevard is having the best year ever for breeding PIPING
PLOVER, a Federal Endangered Species. There are 12 pairs
this summer, and 11 chicks hatched as of June 25. This
compares to a previous high of 5 pairs. There are also 25
pairs of LEAST TERNS. These nests are on the open beach,
and very vulnerable to disturbance. VIRGINIA RAIL, COMMON
MOORHEN and LEAST BITTERN also breed in the freshwater
marsh on this property. LEAST BITTERN is also being heard
at the Lighthouse Pond.
Two singing male YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT can be found in the
Cape May State Park nature trails, one on the Red Trail and
the other on the Yellow Trail. RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS are
again breeding in the Cape May County Park on Route 9, just
north of Cape May Court House. Drive straight into the
Park, continue to the zoo (which is on your left), and the
woodpeckers are in the oak woods to your right.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are regular at CMBO's feeders
and in people's yards where hummingbird and butterfly
gardens have been planted. Jakes' Landing has SEASIDE
SPARROW, CLAPPER RAIL, NORTHERN HARRIER, and others.
The state of NJ has closed the parking lots at Higbee Beach
WMA again for the summer. This does not mean that Higbee
Beach is closed, just the parking lots. You can still bird
and butterfly the area, but you must be dropped off there,
ride a bike, or park in the Hidden Valley parking lot
further up New England Road and walk down. The parking lot
closures are the state's attempt to address illicit
activities that occur there during warm summer months.
The Cape May Butterfly Count was held Sunday, June 25 and
it found 41 species; this is the 5th year of this count.
APPALACHIAN BROWNS were discovered in 4 territories,
including one south of the Canal. Five VARIEGATED
FRITILLARIES were seen. Higbee Beach, Hidden Valley, the
woods around CMBO, and other sites with Hackberry trees had
HACKBERRY EMPERORS, TAWNY EMPERORS, & AMERICAN SNOUTS. The
first BROADWINGED SKIPPERS of the season were seen. Road
shoulders near salt marshes had SALT-MARSH SKIPPERS on
Yarrow and Cow Vetch. SUMMER AZURES were out in force --
SPRING AZURES are gone. Dozens of butterflies flit along
the trails at the Cape May Point State Park.
Many of the butterflies looked quite fresh, and newly
emerged. The count was tough because, even though Common
Milkweek and Butterfly-Weed are in full bloom, they were
not attracting butterflies yet; most participants found
butterflies by "kicking them up" while walking through
overgrown fields and roadsides. We hope the two counts this
coming weekend have better weather and nectar conditions.
Trumpet Creeper is beginning to bloom; it is a favorite
with Hummingbirds. The CMBO butterfly garden has Bee Balm
and Butterfly Bush coming into bloom.
[Program Information Omitted]
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 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, and the Observatory,
call our office at 609-884-2736 or a send a request for
info 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 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May
Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.