Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 6/4/1998
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending June 4 include reports of MISSISSIPPI KITE, SANDHILL CRANE, SOOTY SHEARWATER, BLACK-NECKED STILT, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

MISSISSIPPI KITES were very much in evidence around Cape May Point this week. Six were reported on May 31, with five still present on June 1. Three were seen around the Point on June 4.

A SOOTY SHEARWATER was seen from 7th Street in Avalon, the site of the Avalon Sea Watch. On June 4, ten WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS were seen there.

Three BLACK-NECKED STILTS were seen at the Higbee Beach impoundment on May 30. Also present at that time were a Stilt Sandpiper and five WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS. A check of the impoundment on June 2 found 100+ SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and 18 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, but not the stilts.

A SANDHILL CRANE was at Forsythe NWR on June 3 and a Red-necked Phalarope was in the impoundment there May 31.

A few late migrating passerines were seen this week. A PHILADELPHIA VIREO, rare in spring, was at Higbee Beach on May 31. WARBLING VIREO was in west Cape May on the same day. On June 2, Higbee Beach had three ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS, two Pewees, two AMERICAN REDSTARTS, CANADA WARBLERS, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS and BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO. A MOURNING WARBLER was on Cape May Point on June 4.

Lingering waterfowl included a RUDDY DUCK in Lily Lake on May 30 and OLDSQUAW off Sunset Beach on the 31st. A few NORTHERN GANNETS were off the Point this week and one or two late migrant COMMON LOONS were seen.

Shorebird numbers on the Delaware Bayshore have declined, but some birds are still being seen. Reed's Beach is an excellent vantage point to view the tail-end of this phenomenon. If you visit Reed's beach, please park in the specially arranged lot at the marina at the end of the road near the jetty. The cost is only a dollar and goes a long way toward good will and the promotion of ecotourism.

Local nature Notes follow: The Center for Research & Education in Goshen has some interesting breeders on the property. Chat, Blue Grosbeak, and Orchard Oriole have all taken up residence, and Indigo Bunting and Scarlet Tanager were singing here on June 4. An truly exciting find was a Sora with two chicks in the South Cape May Meadows this past week. This is the first documented record ever of breeding Soras in Cape May County. Up to three Sora were heard late into May and more than one pair may have bred there. Observers on May 29 got to compare the Sora chicks with young Virginia Rails which also breed there. Japanese Honeysuckle is in full bloom, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds find it irresistible. Although hummers prefer the wild-blooming honeysuckle, they'll return to feeders shortly. Remember to continue to clean your hummingbird feeders once a week and refill with fresh solution. A River Otter was in the Cape May Point State Park on May 24. River Otters were seen with some frequency at the State Park and at SCMM only a few years ago, but sighting have been much more scarce since.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks, requiring no preregistration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

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 hotline. For more information call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Don't hesitate to visit our two centers of activity. CMBO's Center for Research & Education is located at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen. CMBO's Northwood Center is located at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Both centers feature gardens, feeding stations, nature & book stores, and birding information. The Center in Goshen also has a wildlife art gallery, featuring artists, photographer, and carvers. Each Center is OPEN DAILY 10-5.

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 Atlantic Counties 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!

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