You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This is a hotline update the morning of Tuesday, July 13. This morning a WHISKERED TERN was seen at the South Cape May Meadows. The bird was seen flying by at about 5:55 AM toward the State Park; it was quickly chased down at the State Park, and was seen flying between the Lighthouse Pond and Bunker Pond until it finally settled down at the Bunker Pond at the State Park, where many people had good views of the bird until about 8:30 in the morning.
The Whiskered Tern is a first North American record. It was also seen on the morning of July 12, and was seen on July 11, and perhaps may have been seen as long ago as two weeks, but the bird was not positively identified until Monday, July 12 in the morning. The bird appears to be keeping a fairly regular schedule of visiting in the early morning, and is probably a bird worth chasing. But don't confuse this bird with Black Terns which are also using the ponds at the meadows and also were seen in the State Park.
Also on July 12 a full adult Franklin's Gull was seen at the Meadows while people awaited the return of the Whiskered Tern. Birding is quite good in Cape May, especially at the South Cape May Meadows, where low water conditions have made it an excellent place for shorebirds and wading birds. We'll update the hotline every day as the bird is seen; and give you a full hotline update on Thursday as usual. Until then, thank you very much for calling the NJ Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory hotline, and good birding.
[The Cape May birding hotline 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. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. ]