Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/19/1993
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. 19, 1993 include: SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER and WHISKERED TERN still in Delaware, additional Delaware highlights, RUFF, MARBLED GODWIT, and SANDWICH TERN locally, some passerine movements, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs.

Delaware is currently offering some scintillating birding. The adult SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER, first located Aug. 8, is being seen daily in the Bear Swamp Pool at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Bombay Hook is also the site of some excellent shorebirding. A CURLEW SANDPIPER was there on Aug. 16, while Aug. 18 observers reported almost 300 AM. AVOCETS., 15 BLACK-NECKED STILTS, 15-20 GODWITS, and 25 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, among other shorebirds. The WHISKERED TERN is also being seen regularly, with the most recent sighting reported on Aug. 18 at Pickering Beach. Also at Pickering Beach that day were REDDISH EGRET, WHITE-WINGED TERN, and an incredibly early juvenile BONAPARTE'S GULL. A REEVE was present at Pickering Beach earlier in the week on the 13th; also on the 13th was a WHITE IBIS at the Ted Harvey Wildlife Management Area.

Back at Cape May, 3 MARBLED GODWITS made a brief appearance at the South Cape May Meadows on Aug. 13, while a RUFF was present at South Cape May for 5-10 minutes on Aug. 14. A juvenile SANDWICH TERN was seen at Champagne Island in the Hereford Inlet on Aug. 16, along with over 100 ROYAL TERNS, 75 AM. OYSTERCATCHERS, 6 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, and over 100 fledged BLACK SKIMMER chicks. Champagne Island is the sand bar located between Stone Harbor and North Wildwood. This summer it has held one of the largest successful colonies of BLACK SKIMMERS, about 400-600 pairs, and COMMON TERNS numbering 800-1000 pairs. These sightings were made by boat by Jersey Cape Nature Excursions; call 898-9631 for more info.

Landbirds are on the move. Many N. ORIOLES, BOBOLINKS, and E. KINGBIRDS migrated through the morning of Aug. 15. Other landbird highlights include a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER on Aug. 19, MOURNING WARBLER on Aug. 18, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER Aug. 17, and BLACK-THROATED BLUE on Aug. 15, all at Higbee Beach. A CANADA WARBLER was seen at Leaming's Run Botanical Garden on Aug. 19, during a CMBO hummingbird trip.

CMBO's official Hawk Watch began Sunday Aug. 15. Hope you will all join us in welcoming hawk counter Tony Leukering. Tony counted several years ago and it's good to see him back in Cape May. On Aug. 15, the first PEREGRINE was counted; several AM. KESTREL, BROADWINGED HAWKS, and a TURKEY VULTURE were also seen on that day. The second day count Aug. 16 experienced a first-year BALD EAGLE and an ad. female N. HARRIER.

Local nature notes include a yard in Salem reporting its third RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD nest; two nests earlier in the summer fledged a total of 4 young June 28 and July 3. This nest was first discovered Aug. 10 and is in the same tree as one of the earlier nests. We've seen lots of Monarch Butterflies; the eggs and caterpillars are being found regularly.

Upcoming programs: Birdwatching for Beginners 2-day courses will be offered once each month, and are scheduled for Aug. 28-29, Sept. 25-26, and each month thereafter. Each Sunday, a birdwalk at Higbee Beach begins at 7:30 AM in the parking lot. Every Wednesday, a birdwalk for beginners meets at 7:30 AM at the Nature Conservancy's property at the Cape May Meadows. There are still spaces available on the four Sunrise Warbler Walks Aug. 27-28 and Sept. 3-4. A binocular and spotting scope workshop with Pete Dunne on Aug. 28 still has openings. Call for details and registration.

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 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. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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