Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 7/28/1994
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 28, 1994, include: RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD in Burlington County, BLACK TERN, RED-NECKED GREBE [not mentioned below], early land and shorebird migrants, local nature notes, and announcements.

A RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was reported from Taylors Lane Farms, in Riverton NJ, today, July 28. Riverton is in the southwestern corner of Burlington County, along the Delaware River.

Several BLACK TERNS have been seen this week, mainly at Bunker Pond in the State Park. Up to 3 were there today, July 28. Four were also seen on Champagne Island in Hereford Inlet on July 27. Bunker Pond, the pond in front of the Hawk Watch platform, has been attracting large numbers of terns, mainly Common and Forsters, and some shorebirds.

Land bird migration is still in its early stages, however a few birds are showing up. NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES and LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES were both seen this past week at several locations. Places to check are the Beanery, the State Park, and the woods around CMBO. Other early land birds included a BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER at the Beanery on July 23, a CLIFF SWALLOW at South Cape May Meadows on July 25, and an OVENBIRD at Higbee Beach July 27.

The recent storms have flooded the South Cape May Meadows, and few shorebirds are stopping there. Before the rains on July 23, a flock of 16 STILT SANDPIPERS were present there. Two SOLITARY SANDPIPERS were at Owl's Pond on the Yellow Trail in the State Park July 25, and an UPLAND SANDPIPER was a flyby at the Meadows on July 25.

ROYAL TERNS have showed up in numbers this week, with 50 on Champagne Island on July 27. They've been seen in ones and twos at Bunker Pond also. A GULL-BILLED TERN was also on Bunker Pond on July 24.

Local Nature notes: On the Butterfly front, the garden at CMBO has been attracting several Northern Broken Dash this week. This is one of the "fold-wing" Skippers, of a group known as the Witches. Others in this difficult-to-separate group that are seen locally include Cross-lined, Tawny-edged, and Dun Skippers, and Little Glassy-wing. Also in the CMBO garden are Broad-winged Skippers, the largest fold-wing Skipper, which is abundant in Cape May since its host plant is Phragmites. Black Swallowtails have been laying eggs this week, on the fennel planted in the garden; and both Black Swallowtail caterpillars and chrysalids have been seen. A new brood of Red-banded Hairstreaks has also been observed this week at nectar sources near woods edges. Olive Hairstreaks can be found near Red Cedars. A favorite nectar source for butterflies right now is Sweet Pepperbush. This shrub grows in damp woods along shady roadsides in places like Belleplain State Forest. Its long spikes of delicate white flowers attract a variety of butterflies. Other good nectar sources now are Everlasting Pea and Milkweed.

[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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