Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 6/6/2002
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 6, 2002. Highlights from the last week include SOOTY SHEARWATER, CORY'S SHEARWATER, GREATER SHEARWATER, MANX SHEARWATER, PARASITIC JAEGER, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, MISSISSIPPI KITE, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, MOURNING WARBLER, DICKCISSEL, and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER.

Pelagic birding continues to be the highlight around Cape May. Birds seen from shore and from nearshore whale-watching trips this week include SOOTY SHEARWATERS, CORY'S SHEARWATERS, GREATER SHEARWATERS, MANX SHEARWATERS, PARASITIC JAEGER, and WILSON'S STORM-PETREL. Sightings have been from shore at Stone Harbor Point, the Avalon Seawatch locale (east end of 7th St.), and from various locations around Cape May Point. The best offshore location for these birds has been Five Fathom Bank, about 11 miles from shore. The area's 3-hour whale watching boat tours have often been heading to this area, as there have been finback whales active here. Check at the dock to see if the boats are heading this way if you're interested in seeing some of these birds.

MISSISSIPPI KITES continue to be seen on and off around Cape May, with reports of 4 birds on June 2nd above Lily Lake, a single bird at Bennett's Bog the same day, and one over the Stockton College campus, also on the 2nd. Two were seen over the Rea Farm (Beanery) on June 1st.

Songbird migration is almost over, though a few migrants were reported this week. A BLACKPOLL WARBLER was found at Cape May Point State Park on June 5th, and an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area on June 3rd. A MOURNING WARBLER was reported from Higbee on June 2nd, and both BANK SWALLOW and CLIFF SWALLOW were seen over the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (the Meadows) on June 2nd. A DICKCISSEL was seen and heard in the fields at the junction of New England and Bayshore Roads on Cape Island; observers wonder if a nesting attempt may occur.

Migrant shorebirds are also clearing out, though smaller numbers of the horseshoe crab-feeding guild (RED KNOT, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, SANDERLING, RUDDY TURNSTONE, and DUNLIN) continue to be seen. Noteworthy was a single WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER seen at the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge on June 2nd.

The SWAINSON'S WARBLER that had been seen along Jakes Landing Rd. has not been reported since May 26.

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!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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