Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 7/17/1997
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 July 17 include sightings of ROSEATE TERN, COMMON EIDER, BROWN PELICAN, AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER, news of a conservation emergency that demands your immediate action, local nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

A mention here that the Higbee Beach parking lots have been closed for the summer again, but this does not mean Higbee Beach is closed -- you just need to get there by bike or by walking.

Please call New Jersey's Governor Whitman at 609-292-6000 today and ask the governor to issue emergency regulations to protect the horseshoe crabs and shorebirds on Delaware Bay before the moratorium expires on July 29.

Up to three ROSEATE TERNS have been seen around Cape May Point this past week. One was in the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) as recently as July 16. Two or three GULL-BILLED TERNS are also being seen regularly at SCMM.

Two COMMON EIDERS continue to summer in the vicinity of Cape May Point, often seen near the Concrete Ship.

Two BROWN PELICANS were seen on the sandbars in Hereford Inlet on July 17.

An AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER was reported from a whale-watch boat in Delaware Bay on July 15.

Shorebirds are moving through in good numbers now. A morning at the SCMM might produce good numbers of SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, and LEAST SANDPIPERS with smaller numbers of SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. On July 17 a WHIMBREL, 2 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, A PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and 3 WESTERN SANDPIPERS were seen. Up to 70 RED KNOTS were present on the sandbars in Hereford Inlet on July 17.

BOBOLINKS continue to move in small numbers and a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH was at Cold Spring Campground on July 16.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are emptying our feeders and constant at flowers in CMBO's gardens and meadow. If you have feeders, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution. Otherwise the solution ferments and can be hazardous to hummingbirds.

On Friday, July 25th CMBO will offer its third evening "Champagne Island Cruise for Skimmers & Terns" of the season. The late June trip enjoyed 500-800 Black Skimmers, 100+ Common Terns, a number of pairs of American Oystercatchers, and up-close and personal looks at all the marsh nesters en route . . . like Forster's Terns, Laughing Gulls, and active Osprey nests on nearly every channel marker. You must preregister for the July 25th trip, which is scheduled to leave a dock in Cape May at 5:00 p.m. and return at 8:30 p.m. There is still room and the fee is $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Call CMBO at 609-861-0700 to register.

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North, either 1 mile south of the traffic light at Rt. 657 or 1.7 miles north of the Gulf Station in Goshen. From either direction we are just around a bend. Look for the split rail fence, brand new sign, large parking lot, and big new building beyond. And the Northwood Center now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. Both centers are open daily, 10-5.

Local Nature Notes follow: Sachems just showed up this week in force. This southern butterfly wanders north and populates our area. They're thick on the zinnias, hyssop, and spotted knapweed at CMBO's new center garden and meadow in Goshen. Sweetbay Magnolia trees are in bloom and very fragrant now! It's an amazing time of year right now with many of our breeding birds raising young and numbers of migrating shorebirds coming through from their tundra breeding grounds in the Arctic.

The Cape May Bird Observatory's Summer Program Schedule includes morning bird walks that require no preregistration every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 7:30 a.m., Butterfly Walks every Sunday morning at 10 a.m., and Friday evening Sunset Bird Walks at 6:30 p.m. Also offered weekly, but requiring preregistration, are Birding By Boat trips each Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and a Kayak Nature Tour each Tuesday afternoons. Stop by either center to pick up the Kestrel Express, which includes our Summer Program Schedule with full details.

Special upcoming summer programs include a "Champagne Island Cruise for Terns & Skimmers" trip on July 25, a 2-day "Bird Watching for Beginners Course" July 26-27, a "Bennett Bog Wildflower Walk" on August 16, a "Field Trip for Shorebirds on the Delaware Bayshore" on August 16, a "Rail Watch by Boat" on Tuesday, August 19, a Member's Night on August 20th on "Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens," a "Champagne Island Cruise for Terns & Skimmers" on August 22, a "Workshop on Binoculars & Spotting Scopes for Birders" on August 30, and a "Purple Martin Fest on the Maurice River on August 30. Beginning in August, several other weekly walks will begin: a Wednesday Butterfly Walk and a Thursday Wildflower Walk, both beginning at 10 a.m.

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 new Center for Research & Education at 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores. The Northwood Center in Cape May Point at 701 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point and the Center for Research & Education in Goshen, both 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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