Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/24/1995
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending Aug. 24, 1995 include EURASIAN WIGEON, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, some migration news, hawkwatch, nature notes and announcements.

A drake EURASIAN WIGEON has been present at Bunker Pond in the Cape May Point state park this week. It was last reported on Aug. 23. A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was seen today, Aug. 24, in the South Cape May Meadows, the Nature Conservancy property along Sunset Blvd. The bird was along the east trail.

An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was seen at Higbee Beach on Aug. 23. That same day brought a number of interesting migrants to Higbee on a weak cold front, including 10+ RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, lots of "BALTIMORE" ORIOLES, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, WORM-EATING WARBLER, TENNESSEE WARBLER, CAPE MAY WARBLER, MOURNING WARBLER, and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER. Some highlights from earlier in the week included GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER and NASHVILLE WARBLER on Aug. 18 at Higbee, a CERULEAN WARBLER the same day at Sunset Blvd., and a DICKCISSEL Aug. 21 at Higbee.

Some raptors have been moving in small numbers. At the Hawk Watch, a PEREGRINE FALCON and 13 BLACK VULTURES were see Aug. 18. On Aug. 22 a first-year BALD EAGLE was seen. The official hawk watch will begin Sept. 1; CMBO's Hawk-watcher this fall will be Andre Robinson; Jerry Ligouri and Paul Koenig(?) will serve as Education Interns this fall.

Up to 4 SANDWICH TERNS were present at Champagne Island in Hereford Inlet this week, along with 6 BLACK TERNS, 5 CASPIAN TERNS, and numbers of ROYAL TERNS. There have also been up to 4 MARBLED GODWITS at Grassy Sound. These areas are visited by a boat operated by Jersey Cape Nature Excursions; information (609)884-3712.

Note that the parking lot at Higbee Beach is still closed until after Labor Day. You can park at Hidden Valley and walk, but remember that Hidden Valley can be just as good as Higbee.

Local Nature Notes follow.

This week was exciting for butterfly and dragonfly enthusiasts. Several species were added to the Cape May County check-list. On Aug. 20, a COMPTON'S TORTOISE-SHELL was discovered in a yard in Whitesboro, a few miles north of Rio Grande. This is species number 105 for the County. A dragonfly never before seen in NJ was discovered on Aug. 19 at Lily Lake in Cape May Point. A FOUR-SPOTTED PENNANT, fairly common in Florida and Dry Tortugas, also is known from the coastal plain in Delaware. It was seen as recently as Aug. 22, and may still be present; its favorite perch is in Lily Lake, near the south end of the lake, on a twig sticking out of the water. It likes to perch here and dart out after prey.

Also on Aug. 18, two VARIEGATED MEADOW-FLIES were seen at Lily Lake. This dragonfly was first found here in 1992.

Higbee Beach right now has lots of butterfly action; numbers of RED-BANDED HAIRSTREAKS, RED-SPOTTED PURPLES, HACKBERRY EMPERORS and TAWNY EMPERORS have been reported. The Villas reported a first CLOUDLESS SULPHUR on Aug. 22, along with VARIEGATED FRITILLARY, 17 SACHEMS, & 6 MONARCHS. On Aug. 23, the Circle Gardens in Cape May Point enjoyed dozens of MONARCHS, as well as SACHEMS, TIGER SWALLOWTAILS, PAINTED LADIES & AMERICAN LADIES, SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPERS, CABBAGE WHITE, and SULPHURS. These gardens are active all day and anything is possible.

[Program Information Omitted]

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 birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, and the Observatory, call our office at 609-884-2736 or a send a request for info to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area, do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.

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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