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 August 14 include sightings of MARBLED GODWIT, COMMON EIDER,
WILSON'S PHALAROPE, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, local nature notes, news of our
upcoming programs and field trips, an update on the HORSESHOE CRAB crisis,
and mention here that the Higbee Beach parking lots are closed for the
summer again, but this does not mean Higbee Beach is closed -- you just
need to get there by bike or by walking.
HORSESHOE CRAB ALERT -- WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP
On August 18th new proposed horseshoe crab regulations will be published in
the New Jersey Register. On that date (August 18th) a 30-day public
comment period opens.
The proposed new regulations: (1) will establish a limited entry system
whereby individuals must meet certain criteria to qualify for a horseshoe
crab harvester's permit, (2) will restrict the harvest to hand collection
only (prohibiting all other gear types, (3) sets a possession limit of 100
horseshoe crabs per day, and (4) will limit the open season for harvesting
horseshoe crabs to Tuesdays and Thursdays during the period of May 1
through June 30. We need all of you to comment on these new proposed
horseshoe crab regulations. The NJ Marine Fisheries Council must know that
the conservation world is still watching, and that these regulations may
not be strict enough to allow the horseshoe crab population to recover.
The Council must make a commitment to maintaining this fragile and
ecologically significant resource. They must acknowledge that all measures
of horseshoe crab abundance indicate a decline in the species, and that
this decline must be reversed. We must get a commitment that if the
horseshoe crab population does not recover, that the council will put in
place a moratorium.
To receive a copy of the new proposed horseshoe crab regulations send a
check or money order of $2.25 (copying fee) to the Office of Administrative
Law, 9 Quakerbridge Plaza, P.O. Box 049, Trenton, NJ 08625-0049 and ask
for a copy of the "Horseshoe Crab Proposal adopted as an emergency
amendment to N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.16."
Your written comments must be received by September 17, 1997 and can be
sent to Janis E. Hoagland, Esq, DEP Docket No. 19-97-07/634, DEP Office of
Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 402, Trenton, NJ 08625-0402.
Thanks for your continued help with this environmental crisis!
A MARBLED GODWIT continues to be seen in the Cape May Point State Park,
seen today August 14. It is usually seen on the beach below the raised
picnic pavilion, but sometimes is in Bunker Pond in front of the hawkwatch
platform. It was joined by a second bird on the 12th. Another was present
at Stone Harbor Point, also on the 14th.
Three COMMON EIDER continue to summer around the area. Two are seen at
various spots off Cape May Point while the other is south and east of the
Three WILSONS PHALAROPES were seen this week, all quite briefly. They were
seen in the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on August 8 and 9, and in the
State Park at a pond along the Yellow Trail, called Al's Pond on August 12.
A LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was seen in the SCMM on the 7th and 8th, with two
there on the 9th.
LEAST BITTERNS have been seen regularly east of the east walk in SCMM,
driven out to the edges to hunt because of low water levels.
The water levels in SCMM continue to drop, but shore birding remains good.
Al's Pond in the State Park is also a good place to see shorebirds close
up. WHITE-RUMPED and WESTERN SANDPIPERS were seen there today August 14.
A decent flight of landbirds on August 14 brought WORM-EATING, BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS,
and two PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS to Higbee Beach. Over 100 BOBOLINKS and a
DICKCISSEL were also recorded. NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES are plentiful on the
edges of the Phragmites in SCMM and the State Park.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD activity is high. The first broods of young have
left the nest, plus migrants from the north are coming through -- so there
are a lot of hummingbirds around. They are emptying the feeders at CMBO
and constant at flowers in CMBO's gardens. If you have hummingbird
feeders, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with
fresh solution or the solution ferments and can be hazardous to
hummingbirds. Trumpet Creeper is in full bloom now and drawing in hungry
Local Nature Notes follow: Wild Cherries are ripe, just in time for
migrant songbirds that are beginning to come through. CMBO's Sunday and
Wednesday butterfly walks have been enjoying Fiery, Broad-winged, Sachem,
and Silver-spotted Skippers, N. Broken Dashes, American Ladies, Spicebush &
Tiger Swallowtails, Juniper & Gray Hairstreaks, lots of Red Admirals,
American Coppers, Common Buckeyes, American Snouts, Question Marks, and
Summer Azures. Hayhurst Scallopwings are flying now and being seen at
Higbee Beach and in Goshen. A Great Spangled Fritillary was in Goshen on
August 12th along with a Red-banded Hairstreak and a Hackberry Emperor.
CMBO's new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is a mecca for silk
moths. Almost every morning we find one or several clinging to the
building; they're drawn in by our security night-lights. Most recently the
building was adorned with 3 Luna Moths, a Polyphemus Moth, and an Imperial
Moth. It's a great year for Monarchs. We've been seeing migrants since
the last few days in July. In late July and August, migrant Monarchs seen
at Cape May are coming from Canada and New England where evenings are much
colder and migration has been triggered. Our local monarchs are still
mating and laying eggs, creating the next generation and dying. Each of
our centers has a display with live Monarch eggs, caterpillars, and
chrysalises. Stop by and check it out.
The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new
Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North,
either 1 mile south of the traffic light at Rt. 657 or 1.7 miles north of
the Gulf Station in Goshen. From either direction we are just around a
bend. Look for the split rail fence, brand new sign, large parking lot,
and big new building beyond. And the Northwood Center now has more space
than ever devoted to our growing birding bookstore and birding information.
Both centers are open daily, 10-5.
The Cape May Bird Observatory's Summer Program Schedule offers daily bird,
butterfly, or wildflower walks. Also offered weekly, but requiring
preregistration, are Birding By Boat trips each Sunday afternoon and Monday
morning, and a Kayak Nature Tour each Tuesday afternoons. Stop by either
center to pick up the Kestrel Express, which includes our Summer Program
Schedule with full details or call us at 609-861-0700.
Special upcoming summer programs include a "Bennett Bog Wildflower Walk" on
August 16, a "Field Trip for Shorebirds on the Delaware Bayshore" on August
16, a "Rail Watch by Boat" on Tuesday, August 19, a Member's Night on
August 20th on "Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens," a "Champagne Island
Cruise for Terns & Skimmers" on August 22, a 2-day "Bird Watching for
Beginners Course" August 30-31, and a "Workshop on Binoculars & Spotting
Scopes for Birders" on August 30.
Focus on Nature Tours is running two pelagic trips out of Brielle. One on
August 24 and one on September 14, leaving at 5 am and returning by 8 PM.
Cost for either is $66.
The 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, and the Observatory, call our new
Center for Research & Education at 609-861-0700 or send a request for
information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210.
If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores.
The Northwood Center in Cape May Point at 701 E. Lake Drive in Cape May
Point and the Center for Research & Education in Goshen, both open Daily,
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 Counties 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!