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Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/18/1994
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 Aug. 18, 1994, include POMARINE JAEGER, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, SANDWICH TERN, MARBLED GODWIT, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, an excellent warbler fallout, local nature notes, and program notes. Two POMARINE JAEGERS were seen from shore at Avalon on Aug. 12, along with a SOOTY SHEARWATER and several NORTHERN GANNETS. RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were reported from offshore this week, with sixteen from the Cape May Whale Watcher on Aug. 11, and 3 seen from the Cape May - Lewes ferry on Aug. 15. Two SANDWICH TERNS were seen from Nummy Island on Aug. 16, by an observer in a boat on the ocean side of the island; one was also present on Champagne Island in Hereford Inlet on Aug. 17. A MARBLED GODWIT made a 15-second appearance at the Cape May Point State Park as it streaked past the hawk watch platform on Aug. 16. A BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was present at Cove Pool near Second Ave. in Cape May from Aug. 11 to Aug. 13. Three BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were also reported from Brigantine (Forsythe) NWR on Aug. 13. Brig also held an AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER on Aug. 17. A second-year LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen near the Bunker at the Cape May Point State Park on Aug. 18. The cold front that passed the Cape on Aug. 15 brought an excellent fallout of warblers to Higbee Beach the following day. Eighteen species were recorded including CERULEAN WARBLER, HOODED WARBLER, KENTUCKY WARBLER, and GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER. Also seen that day were ACADIAN FLYCATCHER and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER and a WARBLING VIREO. The following day Higbee held a MOURNING WARBLER along with a TENNESSEE WARBLER. Bunker Pond in the State Park and the rips just off shore continue to attract thousands of terns and gulls. On Aug. 18 at least 10 BLACK TERNS were present in the area, with 3 or 4 visiting Bunker Pond on and off. Also present during the course of the day was a CASPIAN TERN and a GULL-BILLED TERN. The hayfield at New England and Bayshore Rd. was mowed on Aug. 14, and had attracted up to 14 UPLAND SANDPIPERS by the next day. There were still 5 as recently as today, Aug. 18. Nine BROWN PELICANS were seen near the Second Ave. Jetty on Aug. 17, while 5 were at Avalon on Aug. 15. Local nature notes: New fragrances in the air include Clematis or Virgin's Bower, and Groundnut. Clematis is the vine with tiny white flowers so common along roadsides. Groundnut is a vine in the pea family with clusters of pink flowers. After a hot and dry July, August rains have created a jungle of flowers and host plants for butterflies. Local gardens that butterfly enthusiasts should visit include Cape May City's water conservation garden, on Madison Ave., where Fiery Skippers, Sachems, and over 70 Monarchs were seen on Aug. 16. Also, the Circle in Cape May Point, featuring Butterfly Bush, Sage, Sweet Pepperbush, and ?Vitex; on Aug. 16, these gardens had 10 species and on Aug. 18, observers enjoyed dozens of Monarchs and American Ladies, and several Question Marks and Red Admirals. CMBO's own butterfly and hummingbird garden on East Lake Drive continues to attract an assortment of butterflies, and several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. CMBO's first butterfly walk of the fall, on Aug. 17 at Higbee Beach, enjoyed eleven species despite a threat of rain; highlights included a cluster of Tawny Emperor eggs on a Hackberry tree, and Monarch eggs on every single Common Milkweed plant. We counted 25+ eggs and 2 freshly-hatched caterpillars without looking very hard. It's a super fall for Monarchs; some falls there is a big push in August and this is one of those years. On Aug. 9 an observer on the Cape May Ferry counted 20 Monarchs crossing the bay. On Aug. 15, 100+ Monarchs were counted in one hour as they migrated down the Cape May point beach front.

[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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