Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 7/7/1994
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 7, 1994, include: BLACK-NECKED STILT, ROSEATE TERN, possible WHITE-FACED STORM PETREL, GULL-BILLED TERN, RED-NECKED GREBE, SURF SCOTER, early land bird and shorebird migrants, local nature notes and announcements. Two BLACK-NECKED STILTS were at the Cape May Point State Park in Bunker Pond the morning of July 7. Bunker Pond continues to attract one or two ROSEATE TERNS with 2 reported there as recently as July 5. A possible WHITE-FACED STORM PETREL was reported to this office by the Cape May Whale Watch boat about 5 miles out in the [?] shoals on July 1. July 3 a nest of GULL-BILLED TERNS was discovered on Champagne Island, the sandy island in Hereford Inlet south of Stone Harbor, by one of the Jersey Cape Nature Excursion boat trips. Also seen there on July 3 were some early shorebird migrants: a Whimbrel and two Short-billed Dowitchers. For more info on Jersey Cape Nature Excursions call (609) 898 9631. A few lingering winter birds continue to be seen. RED-NECKED GREBE using the channel behind Stone Harbor is still around, and was seen July 7 from Ocean Drive near the "free" bridge to Nummy's Island. An imm. male SURF SCOTER was seen July 4 in the back bay near Wildwood Crest along Park Blvd. The Higbee's Beach SWAINSON'S WARBLER has not been seen or heard since June 25 despite searching. Perhaps it is gone. Please let us know if you rediscover this bird. A few land birds are beginning to migrate through. July 6 from the hawk watch platform in the State Park three Bank Swallows and 3 Yellow Warblers were seen, and a Worm-eating Warbler was on Sea Grove Ave. in Cape May Point on July 6. Shorebirds are beginning their journey south already; the adults are leaving the nesting ground to the young. The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Meadows property has such high water that few shorebirds are there. But on July 7 a nearby muddy pond edge attracted good numbers of shorebirds including 28 Short-billed Dowitchers, one Lesser Yellowlegs and several Least Sandpipers. The good shorebird spot is near the Second Ave. Jetty in Cape May, best viewed from the official dune crossover close to and just west of Second Ave. This spot is the western edge of the Meadows sanctuary. Spotted Sandpipers have also been seen this week in the back bay marshes by the Nature Excursions boat trip. A BROWN PELICAN was seen from Alexander Ave. in Cape May Point on July 5. This summer, pelican sightings have been quite sparse; please call us if you have any. Due to problems at Higbee Beach, all 3 of its parking areas will be closed until Labor Day. This does not mean Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area is closed to birders. You can still park at the Hidden Valley parking lot on New England Road and walk down to Higbee Beach. Nature notes, summary: Adult Willets are gathering in flocks and preparing to migrate; their precocial young will stay behind and fend for themselves. Finally, butterfly numbers have "popped" after a gap between spring and summer broods. On July 2 CMBO's butterfly garden attracted 5 American Snouts laying eggs. Check Common Milkweed and Butterfly Weed, good nectar sources. [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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