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 22, 1993 include: a note about the WHISKERED TERN; SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, ARCTIC TERN, good shorebird diversity, early passerine migration, an announcement about Higbee Beach, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs.
The WHISKERED TERN that caused such a stir at Cape May has now taken up residence in Delaware at Kitt's Hummock. It was seen there for most of the afternoon on July 18, from 1-6 PM; between 3:30 and 4:30 PM on July 19; for just a brief time early on the morning of July 20, and not at all on July 21-22. Kitt's Hummock is near Little Creek Wildlife Management Area. Also present at that site is an adult WHITE-WINGED TERN, worth the trip all by itself; and up to 5 BLACK TERNS.
A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was present at Woodbine July 15 and for several days thereafter. Most recent records at Cape May for this flycatcher are in early spring. A WHITE-WINGED DOVE was found at Higbee Beach on July 18; it was seen several times that day by different observers, but has not been relocated since. An ARCTIC TERN was reported from the South Cape May Meadows on July 19; it was sitting with Forster's and Common Terns for comparison.
Some of the best shorebirding in recent years continues around the Cape, although at the South Cape May Meadows recent heavy thunderstorms have reduced the available shallow water and mudflats. Still, on July 20 a small mudflat off the center path in the meadows contained several WESTERN SANDPIPERS, STILT SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and LEAST SANDPIPERS.
While it's still only July, some Passerine migrants are also on the move. Two different cold fronts this week brought significant numbers of Yellow Warblers to the Cape. Bobolinks have been present for almost two weeks, with the meadows being a good location for good looks. Two Louisiana Waterthrushes were at the Beanery July 22. Other early passerine migrants this week included Orchard Oriole and Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
After considerable study, the supposed Pacific Loon reported on last week's tape is now thought to be a first-summer Common Loon.
If you visited Cape May recently you probably were surprised to find it nearly impossible to park at Higbee Beach. The main parking lot is closed; but the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area is not closed. There is a parking lot down the road from the right side of the main parking lot, though it is sometimes full of fishermen. If you are concerned about the parking situation at Higbee Beach, call or stop by CMBO to get the addresses and phone numbers where you can write or call with your concerns as birders.
CMBO has a full schedule of activities coming up. Birdwatching for Beginners 2-day courses will be offered once each month, and are scheduled July 24-25, Aug. 28-29, and each month thereafter. Shorebird ID workshops and walks are scheduled for July 24 and 31, and each Sunday a bird walk at Higbee Beach will begin at 7:30 AM at the Higbee Beach parking lot. Every Wednesday a bird walk for beginners will start at 7:30 AM at the South Cape May Meadows on Sunset Blvd. Hummingbird walks are scheduled Aug. 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21. All require pre-registration. A shorebird trip to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is scheduled for Aug. 7; and a nature photography workshop focusing on nature up close is also scheduled for Aug. 7.
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 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. Thank you for calling; good birding.