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 29, 1993 include: a note about the WHISKERED TERN in Delaware; LARK SPARROW, SEDGE WREN, ROSEATE TERN, CERULEAN WARBLER, shorebirds, early passerine migration, announcements and news of upcoming programs.
The last report of the WHISKERED TERN received here was of a sighting on the evening of July 26 at the Logan Tract of the Ted Harvey WMA near Kitts Hummock in Delaware. The bird had also been seen all day on July 25. This site also had a WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN & several BLACK TERNS. The Logan Tract is reached from Rt. 9 south of Little Creek WMA.
Closer to home a LARK SPARROW was found today, July 29, near the lighthouse in Cape May Point State Park. The bird was seen to fly away to the northeast, toward Lily Lake. A search of that area produced no further sightings.
An adult ROSEATE TERN was present in the South Cape May Meadows on the evening of July 27. The bird remained until dusk but was not present at dawn the next day. A SEDGE WREN was found singing in the Meadows on July 28. It was also heard and seen today in the dense stand of cattails on the west side of the center path. A CERULEAN WARBLER was found along the trails in the State Park on July 28, near the beach at the end of the old Blue Trail.
Shorebirds continue to be present in good quantity and diversity. An UPLAND SANDPIPER was present in the fields near New England & Bayshore Rds July 23. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was seen briefly at the Meadows on July 27. Up to 20 STILT SANDPIPERS were there the same day. Two LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were in the Meadows July 28 and one July 29 along with dozens of SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was seen in the Meadows July 28.
A few migrant passerines have also been seen this week, including BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER, & AM. REDSTART. Both LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES are being seen regularly, and YELLOW WARBLERS are plentiful.
You are invited to join us for a Higbee Beach workday on Thursday, Aug. 5, to help make the trails at the new Hidden Valley section more "birder-friendly." The State Non-game Program will provide some of the tools and you and I will provide the manpower. Meet us at 10 AM in the small clamshell parking lot on the south side of New England Rd. about 1/2 mile before Higbee Beach's main parking lot. Wear work clothes and sturdy shoes; bring lunch. If we don't get it all done, another workday is scheduled for Aug. 12. Please call CMBO to let us know you're coming.
Local nature notes follow. Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, and other summer breeders are still at Higbee Beach. The Meadows is full of feeding Herons and Ibis taking advantage of good conditions. Osprey are seen daily over Lily Lake and the ocean. Least Bitterns are seen on occasion in the meadows. Trumpet Creeper is in full bloom and attracting hummingbirds; numbers are high with the young off the nest. Lots of butterflies are being seen now. On July 27, 18 species were seen in one patch of blooming Everlasting Pea and Common Milkweed, including Olive or Juniper Hairstreaks, Common Snouts, Northern Broken-dash, Red Admiral, Variegated Fritillary, Painted Lady and Black Swallowtail. CMBO's butterfly garden has Black Swallowtail chrysalises and caterpillars on its Bronze Fennel. Both the black form and the orange form of the Question Mark and Comma are out now.
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 Aug. 28-29, and each month thereafter. Shorebird ID workshops and walks are scheduled for July 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.