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 26 include sightings of ROSEATE TERN,
AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER, an announcement regarding a special CMBO
sponsored boat tour to Champagne Island aboard the Skimmer, news
of a summer pelagic birding trip, local nature notes, and news
of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.
Four ROSEATE TERNS were seen in a single flock as they passed the
Avalon Seawatch at 7th St. and the ocean on July 22nd.
On the evening of the following day two AUDUBON'S SHEARWATERS
were seen at the same location.
A rare mid-July cold front sparked a movement both passerines and
shorebirds on July 20th and 21st. Some of the highlights on the
20th were two LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH at Higbee Beach, an UPLAND
SANDPIPER over the South Cape May Meadows, three MARBLED GODWITS
off the Concrete Ship, and 25 BOBOLINKS over SCMM. On the 21st
at Higbee Beach were two LEAST FLYCATCHERS, CANADA WARBLER,
WORM-EATING WARBLER, and VEERY. At SCMM on the 21st were eight
CLIFF SWALLOWS, numbers of BANK SWALLOWS, and twenty YELLOW
Other interesting sightings were BLACK TERN on Cape May Point off
July 23rd, BROWN PELICAN on the Point on the 23rd and the 25th,
and BLUE-WINGED WARBLER at the State Park on the 22nd.
Bob Carlough, of THE SKIMMER birding by boat tours, reports they
are now seeing lots of migrant shorebirds, including small flocks
of WHIMBREL. LAUGHING GULL and COMMON TERN young of the year
are now flying, and some (but not all) young OSPREY are now flying.
The Champagne Island BLACK SKIMMER colony is doing well.
Thankfully Hurricane Bertha did not do it in. This is the
state's largest nesting colony of Black Skimmers.
Champagne Island also attracts roosting BROWN PELICANS and it's a
favorite roost site for migrant terns and migrant shorebirds.
Most sightings of ROSEATE TERN, SANDWICH TERN, BLACK TERN, CASPIAN TERN, and ROYAL
TERN in the summer occur here! THE SKIMMER, a very stable 37
foot catamaran with open and enclosed viewing decks, runs three
daily birding by boat trips and each week the Friday evening,
Sunday afternoon, and Monday morning trips are sponsored by CMBO
and b nefit CMBO. Details follow and are found at the end of
this tape in program information. The special CMBO sponsored
boat trip Every Friday evening from 5:30-8:30 p.m. will visit
Champagne Island. To register for these CMBO sponsored boat
trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884- 3100 and say you
learned of the trips through CMBO!
Hurricane Bertha did wash out most of the LEAST TERN nests at the
Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, though the
PIPING PLOVERS did survive, since their young were fledged
alread. Now through the end of August, TNC staff and interns are
offering the following walks: Every Friday at 8 a.m. Clay
Sutton, TNC's Naturalist/Ecologist, will lead a three-hour walk.
The fee is $8. Every Wednesday and Every Saturday evening at 6
p.m. TNC interns will lead one-hour walks for FREE.
Avalon's Boro Park at 72nd Street is harboring a sizeable heronry
this summer, including numbers of nesting BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS and
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS, GLOSSY IBIS, and EGRETS. This is
excellent news now that the Stone Harbor Heronry is still
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD activity has really picked up in the
last week, probably due to a build up in numbers of birds since
young birds have recently fledged and a few migrants are
probably beginning to come through from the far north. CMBO's
garden and feeders are quite active. If you have hummingbird
feeders in your yard, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each
week and refill with fresh solution. Otherwise the solution
ferments and can be dangerous to the hummers.
A late summer pelagic birding trip off the coast of NJ out of
Brielle will leave Sunday, August 25, at 5 a.m. and return that
same day at about 8 p.m. Cost of the trip is $65/ person.
Contact "Focus on Nature Tours" for more details and to register
Local Nature Notes follow: Butterfly activity is building. At
the Cape May Poi nt Pavilion Circle Gardens, Vitex is in bloom --
a shrub covered with clusters of purple flowers. And it is
attracting lots of skippers, including the first Fiery we've
heard of on July 22. Expect to see lots of Broad-winged Skippers
if you visit the garden. Their host plant is phragmites and so
we see great numbers here. These gardens also held Red Admiral,
Monarch, Viceroy, Question Mark, Silver-spotted Skipper, and
Black Swallowtails this week. The first Olive Hairstreak of the
summer was seen July 24. Other local gardens this week have
attracted Saltmarsh Skippers, Sachems, Least Skippers, Dun
Skippers, and N. Broken Dashes. Trumpet Creeper is in full
bloom, a favorite with hummingbirds. There are still some stands
of Common Milkweed, Dogbane, and Butterfly Weed in bloom and
attracting butterflies. Everlasting Pea is also in bloom and
great for skippers.
Some of CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs follow: July
27-28 Fred Mears will teach a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners
Course." This same course will be ta ught again August 24-25, and
September 21-22. "Hummingbird Walks" will be offered August 8 ,
9, 13, 14, 15, and 16. A "Bombay Hook for Shorebirds" field trip
is scheduled for August 1 7. Also on August 17, Keith Seager will
lead a "Wildflower Walk at Bennett Bog" -- Bennett Bog is jointly
owned by NJ Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy and is
nationally famous for its many rare and unusual plants. A Week
Long Birding Workshop for Shorebirds and Pa sserines (with Pete
Dunne and Louise Zemaitis), August 19-23, still has room. Our
next MEMBERS NIGHT is Wednesday, August 21, with Pete Dunne
sharing "Selected Readings, the S tories Behind the Stories!" And
on August 31, Pete Dunne will teach a workshop on "Bin oculars
and Spotting Scopes for Birders." Call CMBO (at 609-884-2736) for
the Summer Progra m Schedule, which includes details and
information on registration for these special program s.
CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard THE SKIMMER are
offered Every Sunday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Every Monday from
9:30-11:30 a.m., and Every Friday f rom 5:30- 8:30 p.m.. The
Friday trip runs to Champagne Island. To register for these CMB
O sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3100
and say you learned of the trips through CMBO! Our daily bird
walks are underway and require no preregistration -- JUST CO ME!
Every Tuesday Pete Dunne leads a "Birds of the Seashore" walk
through The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge,
meeting at 7:30 a.m. Every Wednes day Tom Parsons, Fred Mears,
or Bill Glaser leads a "Birding Cape May Point" walk, meeti ng at
7:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point
State Park. Every Friday Bi ll Glaser leads a "Sunset Bird Walk"
through The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Re fuge,
meeting at 6:30 p.m. in July and meeting at 5:30 p.m. in
August. And Every Satu rday Tom Parsons, Fred Mears, or Bill
Glaser leads a "Birding Cape May Point" walk, meeti ng at 7:30
a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State
Park. Beginning Augus t 1st, a "Wildflower Walk" with Keith
Seager will be offered Every Thursday, meeting at 1 0 a.m. at
The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge.
Beginning August 11th, a " Birding By Bike" tour with Louise
Zemaitis will be offered Every Sunday, meeting at 7:30 a. m. in
the Cape May Point State Park's outer parking lot. Also
beginning August 11th, Louise Ze maitis will offer a "Bookstore
Safari" through CMBO's bookstore Every Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Beginni ng August 14, Pat Sutton will offer a "Butterfly Walk"
Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., meet ing in the raised picnic
pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. Beginning August
15th, Vince Elia will lead a "Hidden Valley Bird Walk" Every
Thursday at 7:30 a.m., meeting at the sma ll clam shell parking
lot on the south side of New England Road 0.3 miles past the
intersectio n with Bayshore Road. CMBO's Summer Program Schedule
details all our programs through September . Stop by our office
and pick it up or give us a call at 609-884-2736 and we'll mail
it to you.
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 informa
tion regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips,
and the Observatory, call our of fice at 609-884- 2736 or send a
request for information 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 birdin g bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr.,
Cape May Point. We're open DAILY, 9-5.
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 Counti es 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
609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!