Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/20/1998
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 20 include reports of Ruff, Olive-sided Flycatcher, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A RUFF was present in the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on the evening of August 19, but no reports were received thereafter.

A cold front on August 19 brought an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER to Higbee Beach.

The same cold front also produced MOURNING WARBLER, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, a hybrid BLUE-WINGED/GOLDEN-WINGED that was thought to be a backcross "LAWRENCE'S" WARBLER, several hundred EASTERN KINGBIRDS, and numbers of AMERICAN REDSTARTS and YELLOW WARBLERS. Songbird highlights from earlier in the week included Mourning Warbler along Sea Grove Avenue on the 15th, CERULEAN, BLACKBURNIAN, WORM-EATING, and CANADA WARBLERS along with DICKCISSEL at Higbee Beach on the 18th. A BREWSTER'S WARBLER backcross was also at Higbee on the 18th, as were several BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS. BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS have been numerous most of the week all over Cape May Point; 21 (in several small flocks) were seen flying extremely high moving northeast over the Point on the evening of the 19th. Six NIGHTHAWKS were also seen that evening. A few BALTIMORE ORIOLES have also been moving, while an ORCHARD ORIOLE was at the State Park on the 18th.

The SCMM continues to hold a variety of shorebirds. On the 16th there were 40 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 20 STILT SANDPIPERS, 10 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, 60 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, along with smaller numbers of SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, and LEAST SANDPIPERS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. A few WESTERN SANDPIPERS have also been seen. Two AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS were there on the 17th. UPLAND SANDPIPER was over the Point on the 19th.

A few BLACK TERNS have been seen at SCMM and at the State Park. A juvenile BONAPARTE'S GULL was at the State Park early in the week. ROYAL TERNS have arrived in good numbers, with 25 on Bunker Pond in the State Park on the 19th. An AMERICAN WIGEON was on Lily Lake on the 16th, while unusual was a CLAPPER RAIL on Lighthouse Pond in the State Park on the 19th.

A few raptors have been seen this week. A BALD EAGLE was over the Hawkwatch on the 19th, and small numbers of AMERICAN KESTRELS and a few BROAD-WINGED HAWKS have been seen. OSPREYS have been successfully hunting Menhaden schools off Cape May Point.

Local nature Notes follow: The five hummingbird feeders at CMBO's Research & Education Center in Goshen are being emptied every two days by persistent and numerous Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Local birds are being joined by migrants to put on an impressive show. Remember to continue to clean your hummingbird feeders once a week and refill with fresh solution. Cold fronts that bring birds also bring influxes of dragonflies, and also of Monarch butterflies. Monarch's have become more common as northerly winds have predominated. Spot-winged & Wandering Gliders, Swamp and Green Darners, and Black & Carolina Saddlebags are the five most numerous migrant dragonflies. Large swarms of dragonflies were over Cape May Point on the 19th and 20th, involving all of these species. Butterfly news included a Little Yellow, a very uncommon southern butterfly, that has been seen for several days along the dunes in the State Park along Bunker Pond, and a good influx of Cloudless Sulphurs, a southern immigrant. Zabulon Skippers have been plentiful around Cape May Point all week.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks, requiring no preregistration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

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 hotline. For more information call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Don't hesitate to visit our two centers of activity. CMBO's Center for Research & Education is located at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen. CMBO's Northwood Center is located at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Both centers feature gardens, feeding stations, nature & book stores, and birding information. The Center in Goshen also has a wildlife art gallery, featuring artists, photographer, and carvers. Each Center is OPEN DAILY 10-5.

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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