Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 7/31/2003
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 31, 2003. Highlights from the last week include RUFF, WHITE-FACED IBIS, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, AMERICAN AVOCET, BLACK TERN, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, and other southbound migrants.

Shorebird reports dominate again this week. A female RUFF (or "REEVE") and a WHITE-FACED IBIS were each seen several times at the Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, our most recent reports being from July 27th. A RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was also found here on the 27th. Four AMERICAN AVOCETS and a BLACK TERN were at Brig on the 28th. BLACK TERNS were also seen at Stone Harbor Point and in the Cape May Harbor on July 25th.

A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was found at the Wetlands Institute Pond, along Stone Harbor Blvd., on July 26th. Five LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were at the Coast Guard Ponds, along Ocean Drive south of Wildwood Crest, on July 28th. In 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. Seen here on July 29th were 2 STILT SANDPIPERS, 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, and 3 WESTERN SANDPIPERS.

Other birds have also begun to move south in earnest. Reports from the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area include 1 LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, 1 AMERICAN REDSTART, 2 WORM-EATING WARBLER, 1 "TRAILL'S" FLYCATCHER, and 35 YELLOW WARBLERS on July 29th, and a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER on the 26th. West Cape May hosted a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER on July 30th, flyover UPLAND SANDPIPER and BOBOLINK on the 29th, a WARBLING VIREO on the 26th, and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH for most of the week. A very early southbound MERLIN was seen over West Cape May on July 22nd. A SORA was at the South Cape May Meadows on July 27th.

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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