Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/15/1996
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 15 include news of the first sizable movement of passerines including DICKCISSEL, KENTUCKY WARBLER and SUMMER TANAGER, SANDWICH TERN, an announcement regarding a special CMBO sponsored boat tour to CHAMPAGNE ISLAND aboard the SKIMMER, news of a summer pelagic birding trip, local nature notes and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.

A weak cold front on August 10th brought the first large influx of southbound songbirds this week. Highlights at Higbee Beach on August 10th included KENTUCKY and CERULEAN WARBLERS, DICKCISSEL and SUMMER TANAGER. On the 11th at Higbee, highlights included PROTHONOTARY and BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was on Cape May Point on August 12th. On the 14th at Higbee, there were 2 LEAST FLYCATCHERS and at least 10 BALTIMORE ORIOLES along with many other migrants. On the 15th were 2 WORM-EATING WARBLERS, a CERULEAN WARBLER and 4 ORCHARD ORIOLES.

4 SANDWICH TERNS were at Hereford Inlet which is between Wildwood and Stone Harbor on August 10th, while another was seen at Avalon on the same day. 2 or 3 SURF SCOTERS have been seen regularly at the jetty on Alexander Avenue on Cape May Point. A BROWN PELICAN was seen there on August 14th.

Champagne Island is a favorite roost site for migrant terns and migrant shorebirds. Most sightings of Roseate, Sandwich, Black, Caspian, and Royal Terns in the summer occur there! THE SKIMMER, a very stable 37 foot catamaran with open and enclosed viewing decks, runs three daily birding by boat trips and each week the Friday evening, Sunday afternoon, and Monday morning trips are sponsored by CMBO and benefit CMBO. Details follow and are found at the end of this tape in program information. The special CMBO sponsored boat trip every Friday evening from 5:30-8:30 p.m. will visit Champagne Island. To register for these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3100 and say you learned of the trips through CMBO!

Avalon's Boro Park at 72nd Street is harboring a sizeable heronry this summer, including numbers of nesting BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS and YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS, GLOSSY IBIS, and Egrets. This is excellent news now that the Stone Harbor Heronry is still unoccupied!

CMBO's 1996 Avalon Seawatch has begun thanks to the efforts of Dave Ward. He reports that fall migration is readily evident. By the end of July, more than 2000 sea birds, close to 5,500 shorebirds and 651 passerines had been seen. Rarities seen in July included 31 CORY'S SHEARWATERS, 2 AUDUBON'S SHEARWATERS, 100 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS, 1 SANDWICH TERN and 5 ROSEATE TERNS. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD activity is at a peak since migrants are beginning to come through and the young from local nests have fledged and are feeding along with the adults. Christine Giffins reports that her hummingbirds are on their second nest of the summer now feeding tiny young. She can barely see the tips of their bills. Hummingbird walks at Leamings Run Botanical Gardens have been treated to excellent looks again and again at hummingbirds and CMBO's own garden and feeders have been quite active. CMBO's garden and feeders have been quite active. If you have hummingbird feeders in your yard, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution. Otherwise the solution ferments and can be dangerous to the hummers.

A late summer pelagic birding trip off the coast of NJ out of Brielle will leave Sunday, August 25, at 5 a.m. and return that same day at about 8 p.m. Cost of the trip is $65/person. Contact "Focus on Nature Tours" for more details and to register at 302-529-1876.

Local nature notes follow: Butterfly activity is exploding! Tiger Swallowtails have been seen in incredible numbers this year. One local garden had 14! A report came in from Lancaster, Pennsylvania of clouds of them. Many noticed migrating Monarchs coming through on August 10th, 11th and 12th. 6 were seen out over the Delaware Bay heading south. These migrants are probably from Canada and the northern New England states where temperatures have already begun to drop. Our local Monarchs are still mating and laying eggs merrily for the next generation and will continue to do so until October. What folks don't realize is that once Monarchs mate and lay eggs, they will soon die. The migrating generation does not mate and lay eggs until next spring. Other butterfly news includes the season's first Ocola Skipper, along with Variegated Fritillary on August 11th. This may be the earliest Ocola Skipper report EVER! An OLIVE HAIRSTREAK was seen on August 12 in Cape May Point. Freshley emerged RED-BANDED HAIRSTREAKS and HAYHURST'S SCALLOPWING are being seen at the State Park, Higbee Beach and in CMBO's garden. CMBO's first butterfly walk of the fall on August 14th enjoyed 14 species at the garden in Cape May Point State Park and at the garden in the Pavilion Circle. Highlights were: 5 QUESTION MARKS, 6 AMERICAN LADIES, 3 RED ADMIRALS, 1 HACKBERRY, 17 MONARCHS, 6 SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPERS, 6 NORTHERN BROKEN DASH, 2 ZABULONS, 6 BROAD-WINGED SKIPPERS, 2 SUMMER AZURES and Swallowtails dashing about. An earlier brood of SACHEMS peaked in late July and numbers have dropped since but they should pick up with the next brood. Noticeable in their near absence have been BUCKEYES and PAINTED LADIES. A large dragonfly flight involving good numbers of GREEN DARNERS, SWAMP DARNERS, BLACK-MANTLED GLIDERS, VIOLET-MASKED GLIDERS and WANDERING GLIDERS passed over Cape May Point on August 11.

Some of CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs follow: A Week Long Birding Workshop for Shorebirds and Passerines (with Pete Dunne and Louise Zemaitis), August 19-23 still has room. Our next MEMBERS NIGHT is Wednesday, August 21, at 7:30 pm with Pete Dunne sharing "Selected Readings, the Stories behind the Stories!" And on August 31, Pete Dunne will teach a workshop on "Binoculars and Spotting Scopes for Birders." August 24-25 Fred Mears will teach a 2-day "Bird-watching For Beginners Course." The same course will be taught again September 21-22. Call CMBO (at 609-884-2736) for the Summer Program Schedule, which includes details and information on registration for these special programs.

CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard THE SKIMMER are offered Every Sunday from 1:30-3:30p.m. and Every Monday from 9:30-11:30 a.m., and Every Friday from 5:30-8:30 p.m.. The Friday trip runs to Champagne Island. To register for these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3100 and say you learned of the trips through CMBO!

Our daily bird and butterfly walks are underway and require no preregistration -- JUST COME! Every Tuesday Pete Dunne leads a "Birds of the Seashore" walk through The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, meeting at 7:30 a.m. Every Wednesday Tom Parsons, Fred Mears, or Bill Glaser leads a "Birding Cape May Point" walk, meeting at 7:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. Every Wednesday, Pat Sutton offers a "Butterfly Walk" at 10 am meeting the raised picnic pavilion in the Cape May Point State Park. Every Thursday, Keith Seager leads a "Wildflower Walk" through the The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge meeting at 10 am. Every Friday Bill Glaser leads a "Sunset Bird Walk" through The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, meeting at 5:30 p.m. Every Saturday Tom Parsons, Fred Mears, or Bill Glaser leads a "Birding Cape May Point" walk, meeting at 7:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. Every Sunday, Louise Zemiatis leads a "Birding by Bike" tour meeting at 7:30am in the Cape May Point State Park's outer parking lot. Also, every Sunday Louise Zemaitis offers a "Bookstore Safari" through CMBO's bookstore Every Sunday at 1:30 pm. Every Thursday, Vince Elia leads a "Hidden Valley Bird Walk" at 7:30 am, meeting at the small clam shell parking lot on the south side of New England Road 0.3 miles past the intersection with Bayshore Rd. CMBO's Summer Program Schedule details all our programs through September. Stop by our office and pick it up or give us a call at 609-884-2736 and we'll mail it to you.

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 office at 609-884-2736 or send a request for information to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open DAILY, 9-5.

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!

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