Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/21/2003
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 21, 2003. Highlights from the last week include SWALLOW-TAILED KITE, MISSISSIPPI KITE, AMERICAN AVOCET, and WHITE IBIS.

A SWALLOW-TAILED KITE was seen on August 16th at several locations south of the Cape May canal. Like most swallow-taileds, it did not linger. Incredibly, a MISSISSIPPI KITE was also seen on both the 16th and on the 17th. Both kites on the same day in August is unheard of.

An AMERICAN AVOCET was found at high tide at Nummy Island on the 15th. There were no follow-up reports.

A WHITE IBIS was at the Bivalve impoundment on the 14th. Also with no follow-up reports.

Other highlights included: a COMMON LOON off the State Park on the 14th, a HUDSONIAN GODWIT at the Higbee Beach impoundment on the 16th, a WILSON'S PHALAROPE and two GULL-BILLED TERNS at the same locale on the 17th, two BALD EAGLES over the Beanery on the 17th, and five CASPIAN TERNS and a BLACK TERN from the Higbee impoundment on the 18th.

The pace of songbird migration slowed a bit with the stagnant weather patterns this week. Noteworthy reports this week include two or three PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS on the 18th at the Higbee dike, and one or two DICKCISSELS on most mornings at the same site.

Offshore sightings have been good this week. On the 18th the whale watch boat trip had 100+ CORY'S SHEARWATERS and 12 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES. An observer about 10 miles off Cape May on the 20th had an AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER, 15 CORY'S SHEARWATERS, four RED PHALAROPES, and 100s of WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS.

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 the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, 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. 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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