Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 7/21/1994
You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending July 21, 1994, include: SANDWICH TERN, ROSEATE TERN, BLACK-HEADED GULL, adult BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS, RUFF and WHITE-WINGED TERN in Delaware, early land bird and shorebird migrants, local nature notes and announcements. SANDWICH TERNS were seen twice this week, with one reported from the State Park on July 19, and another seen flying past the South Cape May Meadows on July 21. Whether or not the same bird was involved in both sightings isn't known. ROSEATE TERN was seen again this week in the State Park with one there on July 19. A BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen on July 20 two miles north of Hammonton, NJ; an exact location was not available at time of tape. Adult BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were seen at two locations this week. One was seen on Champagne Island in Hereford Inlet, while the other was seen at Brigantine NWR. Brigantine also held 20 (garbled) sandpipers and a WILSON'S PHALAROPE. In Delaware, a WHITE-WINGED TERN was present at the north end of Little Creek Wildlife Management Area on July 16, while a RUFF was at Bombay Hook on the same day. The diversity of the shorebird migration increased this week; the Cape May Meadows Nature Conservancy preserve on Sunset Ave. is attracting a fair number of shorebirds as the water levels continue to drop. This past week, a trip on the Jersey Cape Nature Excursions boat trip recorded eleven species of shorebirds, including the aforementioned BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. Other species around the Point include WHIMBREL, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, and SPOTTED SANDPIPER, SOLITARY SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, among others. Land bird migration was slow this week, although a few ORCHARD ORIOLES were reported, and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES were seen at both the State Park and near the CMBO offices on Lily Lake. Local Nature notes: CMBO's final two butterfly counts recorded over 14 species of butterflies each, despite near-100 degree temperatures. Actually by 10:30 AM Skippers were real hard to find as they'd left nectar sources for shade. Since the July 8 and 9 counts, butterfly activity has picked up. The CMBO butterfly and hummingbird garden is enjoying fair activity including 3 big Black Swallowtail caterpillars on our Dill plants. An oak on the state park's "yellow" trail is dripping sap and pulling in numbers of Red Admirals and Question Marks, as well as a few Ruby-throated Hummingbirds taking advantage of the sap and the insects attracted to it. Broad-winged Skippers are the common white butterfly all along the State Park trails; their host plant is Phragmites, probably the most abundant plant in the park. American Snouts can be found wherever Hackberry trees grow, including right outside CMBO. [program notes omitted -LL] 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, phone our office or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. 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 (llarson@pucc.princeton.edu).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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