You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of
the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.
Highlights for the week ending July 20 1995 include
sightings of WILSON'S PHALAROPE, WILSON'S STORM PETREL,
SOOTY SHEARWATER, CORY'S SHEARWATER, NORTHERN GANNET, BLACK
TERN, GULL-BILLED TERN, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, CLIFF
SWALLOW, announcements, nature notes, etc.
A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was seen on July 16 at Higbee Beach,
on the dike. Flocks of BOBOLINKS can be found feeding in
the fields at Higbee, as well as in the Hidden Valley
fields further up New England Rd. The Higbee Beach parking
lot is still closed but you can park at Hidden Valley, or
bike or be dropped off at Higbee Beach.
Another WILSON'S PHALAROPE, in breeding plumage, was seen
at Brigantine NWR on July 18, about 1/3 down the first
An observer on the Cape May - Lewes Ferry, on July 16, saw
about 40 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS, a NORTHERN GANNET, 14
SCOTERS, & a COMMON LOON. Three sea turtles were also seen
that day, one of them identifiable as a Leatherback.
The Avalon Sea Watch at the north end of Avalon began part
time on July 14. Dave Ward had a super day there on July
16, with a WILSON'S STORM PETREL, 2 SOOTY SHEARWATERS, 13
CORY'S SHEARWATERS, one NORTHERN GANNET and 2 BLACK TERNS
in alternate plumage. WILSON'S STORM-PETREL is being seen
A SORA was seen July 13 and 14 in the South Cape May
Meadows on Sunset Blvd. Also there this week were 3
PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, 20 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 450 SHORT-BILLED
DOWITCHERS, 1 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, 4 WESTERN SANDPIPERS,
2 SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, 1 GULL-BILLED TERN, BOBOLINKS and a
CLIFF SWALLOW. On the beach nearby is the LEAST TERN
colony, and a new record 12 PAIRS of PIPING PLOVERS. Up to
200 Least Terns were counted July 19, far more than the
colony holds, so some are moving. LEAST BITTERN and
VIRGINIA RAIL both nested in the meadows; 2 nearly
full-grown Virginia Rails were seen there July 19.
Champagne Island, in Hereford Inlet between Wildwood and
Stone Harbor, has one of the best beach-nesting bird
colonies in the state. As of July 12, it held over 1000
BLACK SKIMMERS, over 1000 COMMON TERNS, and 3 pairs of
GULL-BILLED TERNS. Other (non-nesting) birds here included
BROWN PELICANS, ROYAL TERNS, WHIMBREL, and migrant
shorebirds. The island can be viewed from Nummy's Island,
Stone Harbor Point, or North Wildwood; or you can take a
boat trip conducted by Jersey Cape Nature Excursions. Call
(609) 884-3712 for more information.
The state of NJ has closed the parking lots at Higbee Beach
WMA again for the summer. This does not mean that Higbee
Beach is closed, just the parking lots. You can still bird
and butterfly the area, but you must be dropped off there,
ride a bike, or park in the Hidden Valley parking lot
further up New England Road and walk down. The parking lot
closures are the state's attempt to address illicit
activities that occur there during warm summer months.
Local Nature Notes follow.
Butterflies: BRAZILIAN SKIPPER was seen July 14 at Port
Norris, as it visited the Rutgers Oyster Research Lab where
Bob Barber works. This huge Skipper occaisionally wanders
north, and Bob spotted it. A PIPEVINE SWALLOWTAIL visited a
butterfly garden in Goshen on July 16. HACKBERRY EMPEROR
was at the Hackberry trees at Higbee Beach July 19.
The fall's first COMMON CHECKERED SKIPPER, a southern
wanderer, was seen on the Cumberland County butterfly count
on July 1, and another was seen near Stow Creek, Salem Co.,
on July 17. Another immigrant, FIERY SKIPPER, was seen July
19 at Lakehurst Bog, where 3 HARVESTERS were also found
Four SOUTHERN HAIRSTREAKS were found in Ocean County near
Tom's River on July 17; be alert for this very uncommon
Blooming butterfly hostplants now include Common Milkweed,
Everlasting Pea, Alfalfa, and Butterfly Bush and Bee Balm.
Hidden Valley on New England Road, Cape May, was planted as
a wildflower meadow this spring. Lots of LEAST SKIPPERS,
COMMON SOOTYWINGS, and BROADWINGED SKIPPERS can be found
right now around the parking lot there; the Common Milkweed
patches in the meadow hold SACHEMS, DUN SKIPPERS, MONARCHS,
LEAST SKIPPERS, SULPHUR, SWALLOWTAILS, and no doubt others.
[Program Information Omitted]
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 office at 609-884-2736 or a send a request for
info to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you
are in the area, do not hesitate to visit our headquarters
and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May
Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.
The Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] 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. [Compiled by CMBO staff; transcribed by L.
Larson (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.