You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory, with an update for July 14, due to the very rare WHISKERED TERN, seen here at Cape May, a first North American record. The WHISKERED TERN has not been seen since yesterday, July 13 at 8:30 am. It has not been seen today, July 14. If the bird is seen later today we will update this hotline.
The bird was first correctly identified on July 12; it was seen very early, 6:00 AM, in the South Cape May Meadows Nature Conservancy property on Sunset Blvd. On July 13 it was seen between dawn and about 8:30 AM in both the South Cape May Meadows and at the State Park, where it was roosting at Bunker Pond and feeding at Lighthouse Pond. It seems to prefer the areas where there are other terns.
An adult FRANKLIN'S GULL was seen July 12 in the South Cape May Meadows in the late afternoon. GULL-BILLED TERNS are nesting on Champagne Island, the sand bar in Hereford Inlet just south of Stone Harbor, confirmed on July 10. VIRGINIA RAILS have young in the South Cape May Meadows, and were seen today, July 14 at the end of the east road as it nears the beach. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE came in to the South Cape May Meadows today, July 14, at 8:30 AM; it lingered for about 10 minutes and then flew on.
If you are going to try for the WHISKERED TERN it seems that the bird is being seen early in the morning, dawn to about 8:30. It has probably been here off and on for several weeks; it was earlier misidentified as a Black Tern, and during that several week period it was seen off and on, so there's a good chance the bird will return. Until then happy birding; if you should see the bird, please let us know at (609) 884-2736. This hotline will be updated again tomorrow, July 15.
[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. ]