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 24 include sightings of AUDUBON'S
SHEARWATER, AMERICAN AVOCET, RUFF, ROSEATE TERN, news of a
conservation emergency that demands your immediate action, local
nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips.
Higbee Beach parking lots are 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. Also Forsythe, or Brig, will
have restricted access on July 26 & 27, the back end will be
closed, with two-way traffic on the front end. It is scheduled
for full closure on August 9 & 10, and September 13 & 14.
We're asking everyone to please call New Jersey's Governor
Whitman at 609-292-6000 today, even if you've already called.
Ask the governor to issue emergency regulations to protect the
horseshoe crabs and shorebirds on Delaware Bay before the
moratorium expires on July 29.
An Audubon's Shearwater was seen from the Cape May Point State
Park on July 23, fairly close to shore. Another was seen from
the Ferry on July 19 and three Audubon's-type was seen from the
Whale Watcher on July 20. Also seen that day were 30 Cory's and
15 Greater Shearwaters, 40 Wilson's Storm Petrels, and a Parasitic
An American Avocet was present in the South Cape May Meadows
(SCMM) for about 45 minutes on July 21.
A Ruff was briefly seen in SCMM on July 18.
A Roseate Tern, along with a Black Tern, was in SCMM on July 24.
July 18th saw a good movement of Glossy Ibis with 140 counted on
July 18. A good swallow movement on the 19th had 250 Tree
Swallows, good numbers of Barn Swallows, and some Bank Swallows.
The SCMM continues to be good for shorebirds. Highlights include
an Upland Sandpiper on the 20th, 15 Western Sandpipers on the
21st, a few Whimbrels almost daily, and 5 Stilt Sandpipers on
the 24th. A Sora was also there on the 20th and 21st
Three Common Eiders continue to be seen. Two around Cape May
Point, and one in the canal south and east of the Ferry
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are emptying our feeders and constant
at flowers in CMBO's gardens. Increased activity recently
indicates that the first brood of young has left the nest! If
you have feeders, be sure to clean them thoroughly each week and
refill with fresh solution, otherwise it can be hazardous to
Bob Carlough, Captain of The Skimmer -- a boat CMBO works with in
doing back-bay boat tours, shared the following on what they've
been witnessing in the marshes on his boat trips. The breeding
season has been bad for marsh nesters due to extra high tides and
flooding. Common Terns and Laughing Gulls are 2 species that
seem to be doing well. Most others are busy with their 2nd
attempt and young have not yet hatched. Only 2 Am.
Oystercatcher chicks have been seen to date, and no rail chicks.
Rails had to renest after flooding of the marshes in early June.
Bob has noted 80% failure in Osprey nests in the marshes along
the coast. These nests all had young, but when the young were
2-4 weeks old they disappeared. Did they starve? 2-4 weeks is
a young bird's time of maximum growth when they need alot of
food. Waters may have been too cold at that time and surface
feeding fish were unavailable for adult Osprey to catch. Much to
Local Nature Notes follow: Dozens of migrating SWAMP DARNERS were
noticed on July 19th over the Migratory Bird Refuge on Sunset
Blvd, and on July 20th 4 migrant species of dragonflies were
seen in good numbers over Cape May Point, including: SWAMP
DARNERS, GREEN DARNERS, CAROLINA SADDLEBAGS, and BLACK
SADDLEBAGS. Butterfly numbers are picking up. Butterflies
reported this week include: BROAD-WINGED SKIPPERS, SALTMARSH SKIPPERS,
SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPERS, and ZABULON SKIPPERS, SACHEMS, dozens of
MONARCHS, lots of RED ADMIRALS, RED-SPOTTED PURPLES, AMERICAN
LADIES, VARIEGATED FRITILLARY, also seen were Hummingbird clearwings &
SNOWBERRY CLEARWINGS in gardens too. Trumpet Creeper is in full
bloom and attracting hungry hummingbirds. Dave Ward saw whales
off Avalon this week as he monitored for seabird migration, but
were too far out to ID. A Loggerhead Sea Turtle was seen on July
23 off the Concrete Ship. Sea turtles move into the area with
jellyfish, their favored food. Keep an eye out!
The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity.
Our new Center fo r Research & Education in Goshen is located at
600 Route 47 North, either 1 mil e 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 birdi ng bookstore and birding
information. Both centers are open daily, 10-5.
The Cape May Bird Observatory's Summer Program Schedule includes
morning bird wa lks 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 S unset Bird
Walks at 6:30 p.m. Beginning in August, other weekly walks will
begi n including a Wednesday Butterfly Walk and a Thursday
Wildflower Walk, both beg inning at 10 a.m. Also offered weekly,
but requiring preregistration, are Birdi ng By Boat trips each
Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and a Kayak Nature T our
each Tuesday afternoon. Stop by either center to pick up the
Kestrel Expres s, which includes our Summer Program Schedule with
Special upcoming summer programs include a 2-day "Bird Watching
for Beginners Co urse" July 26-27, a "Bennett Bog Wildflower
Walk" on August 16, a "Field Trip f or 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 & Hummingbir d
Gardens," a "Champagne Island Cruise for Terns & Skimmers" on
August 22, a "W orkshop on Binoculars & Spotting Scopes for
Birders" on August 30, and a "Purpl e Martin Fest on the Maurice
River on August 30.
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 sig nificance of Cape May. Your
membership supports these goals and this birding h otline. For
more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and
fiel d trips, and the Observatory, call our new Center for
Research & Education at 6 09-861-0700 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 o ur 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, bot h 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 609-8
84-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!