Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 7/24/2003
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, July 24, 2003. Highlights from the last week include RED-NECKED STINT, CURLEW SANDPIPER, RUFF, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, other shorebirds, ROSEATE TERN, and BLACK TERN.

Southbound shorebirds continue to dominate our reports. A RED-NECKED STINT was found on July 21st along the north side of the access road to Two Mile Landing, off Ocean Drive just south of Wildwood Crest. This bird has not been seen since the initial discovery.

A CURLEW SANDPIPER was found on July 18th at the Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. It was seen in the southeast corner of the east pool in the company of WESTERN SANDPIPERS. Our most recent report is from the 20th. A female RUFF (or "REEVE") was also seen at "Brig", in the west pool near the north dike on July 19th and another was seen on the 24th. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was found on July 17th and again on the 22nd. Other shorebirds reported from "Brig" during the last week include PECTORAL SANDPIPER, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, and STILT SANDPIPER.

Closer to Cape May, the "Higbee Impoundment" is providing good shorebird habitat this summer. This is the area atop the big dredge spoil near the Canal along the unpaved road that runs north from the west end of New England Road. Sightings from the last week here include (from among hundreds of shorebirds) PECTORAL SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, an early juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER (July 19th), and lots of swallows, including CLIFF SWALLOW and BANK SWALLOW.

Stone Harbor Point continues to harbor a spectacular concentration of nesting birds, though reports of rarities have been declining. A single ROSEATE TERN was found on July 20th, and up to five BLACK TERNS continue to be seen daily.

Finally, a sign that the songbird migration is gradually beginning: a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH was found at the Rea Farm on July 21st.

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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