Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/15/2002
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, August 15, 2002. Highlights from the last week include WILSON'S PHALAROPE, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, STILT SANDPIPER, BLACK TERN, SANDWICH TERN, AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER, CORY'S SHEARWATER, and news of the migration.

The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (also called the South Cape May Meadows, or simply, "The Meadows") continues to harbor an excellent assortment of birds. Three WILSON'S PHALAROPES were seen on August 15th, along with an astounding 72 STILT SANDPIPERS. Twelve juvenile SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS were seen here on August 14th, joining a larger group of adult DOWITCHERS that has included as many as 6 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS during the last week. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was found on August 10th. Other shorebirds observed at the Meadows last week include BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, PIPING PLOVER, KILLDEER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SOLITARY SANDPIPER, WILLET, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, RUDDY TURNSTONE, SANDERLING, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, and PECTORAL SANDPIPER. An immature YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was noted here several mornings, along with virtually all of the expected species of herons and egrets. GREEN-WINGED TEAL were found here on August 12th, and 2 NORTHERN SHOVELERS were seen on the 14th.

Stone Harbor Point is also harboring large numbers of birds. Three BLACK TERNS were seen here August 9th and again on the 12th, along with SANDWICH TERNS on the 9th and the 11th. Two BLACK TERNS were seen at Bunker Pond, Cape May Point State Park, on August 14th. An unusual summering BRANT continues to frequent the Hereford Inlet area, most recently reported from Nummy Island on Aug. 13th.

Birders out on the waters of the Atlantic and Delaware Bay have been spotting interesting birds. Two AUDUBON'S SHEARWATERS and 12 CORY'S SHEARWATERS were seen about 12 miles offshore from Avalon on August 13th. Twenty-seven WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS were counted on a crossing of the Cape May Lewes Ferry on August 12th.

Migrant songbird numbers continue to increase. LEAST FLYCATCHERS were seen at Hidden Valley on August 15th and at The Meadows on August 12th. A WORM-EATING WARBLER was seen at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area on August 11th. Other migrant songbirds reported from south of the Cape May Canal last week include NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, YELLOW WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, and ORCHARD ORIOLE.

CMBO's new shorebird bullet workshop, scheduled for August 24 & 25 is full, but a second section, August 22 & 23, still has openings. Spaces are also still open for bullet workshops on Birds of Ocean Beach and Tidal Marsh on August 17 & 18, and for Fall Warblers on Sept. 7 & 8. Spaces are also still available for the full 5-day workshops on Fall Migration, September 17 21, and Raptor Migration, October 20 24. New half-day Migration Hotspot programs are scheduled for August 21, Sept. 14, and several other autumn dates. Contact CMBO at (609) 861-0700 for more information about these and other upcoming programs for the busy and exciting fall migration season.

The Cumberland County Purple Martin Festival will be held this Saturday, August 17th, from noon until dusk at Mauricetown, NJ. Activities are centered at the Mauricetown Fire Hall. A full-day pelagic trip from Cape May has been planned for Friday, August 23. Contact Mary Gustafson for more details & to register (302-559-5640).

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 our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, 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. NOTE THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR LATE SUMMER. Updates to this hotline are scheduled to be made on the following dates: Wednesday August 21, Sunday August 25, and Saturday August 31. Normal Thursday updates will begin again on September 5. 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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