Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/25/1994
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. 25, 1994, include sightings of WHISKERED TERN in Delaware, PARASITIC JAEGER, AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER, SANDWICH TERN, AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, news of the fall migration, local nature notes, and announcements. Last summer's media star, the WHISKERED TERN, was found again on August 24 at Little Creek, Delaware. It was not on Port Mahon Rd., but at the dike beyond the parking lot at the entrance to the headquarters. It was seen between 6:45 and 7:20 AM in the pool north of the headquarters. A WHITE-WINGED TERN continues to be seen at Bombay Hook, most recently reported on August 24. Three light-morph adult PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen from the South Cape May Meadows beach on Aug. 21. On the following day, 6 JAEGERS of undetermined species were seen from the Avalon sea watch. The Avalon sea watch also produced an AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER on the same day. The sea watch, which will be staffed full time later in the season, is being staffed by observers for a few hours each day to get a feel for the early flights. They've been well rewarded so far. The sea watch is at the end of 7th street at the north end of town. A SANDWICH TERN was seen from the Cape May - Lewes ferry on Aug. 20, very close to the Lewes terminal. One to three AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS were seen this week in the mowed hayfields at the corner of New England and Bayshore Rd. They were most recently reported on Aug. 22. The field has also held a few BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and UPLAND SANDPIPERS were there last week. A cold front on Aug. 19 brought a good fallout to Higbee Beach the following day. Some highlights include LAWRENCE'S WARBLER, CERULEAN WARBLER, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, an assortment of Empidonax flycatchers including ACADIAN FLYCATCHER, LEAST FLYCATCHER, and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER. BLACK TERNS continue to visit Bunker Pond in the State park; this past week also saw GULL-BILLED TERN there as well as a CASPIAN TERN. Shorebirds also use the edges of this pool, with a STILT SANDPIPER there Aug. 23, and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER there Aug. 25. The Cape May hawk watch began Aug. 15. Jerry Lacquarie is the offical hawk watcher this fall. Jerry has an environmental science degree from Stockton State College, and comes to us with a lot of experience. He conducted our spring Sandy Hook hawk watch in Spring 1993; was a regular guest hawkwatcher at Cape May last fall; and this spring, conducted Braddock Bay Raptor Research's hawk watch on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in upstate New York. We hope you'll join us in welcoming Jerry. He began his watch with a bang; as of today, eleven BALD EAGLES have already migrated through, including one on the first day of the watch, six on Aug. 23, all immatures except one. BLACK VULTURES and up to 46 BROAD-WINGED HAWKS made an appearance on Aug. 23. The first MERLIN of the season was seen Aug. 24. Local nature notes: CMBO'S Wednesday morning butterfly watch at Higbee Beach enjoyed a good variety. Highlights there on Aug. 24 included good numbers of Spicebush Swallowtail, an American Snout, male and female Zabulon Skippers, and dozens of Monarch eggs and a few tiny caterpillars. Another good spot is the circle in the center of Cape May Point. Several of the gardens along the center path have white butterfly bushes which were loaded with Monarchs, Question Marks, Red Admirals, Common Buckeyes, Silver Spotted SKippers, and Sachems on Aug. 24. The center path of the Cape May Meadows on Sunset Blvd. was alive with Common Buckeyes, because their host plant, Seaside Gerardia, grows there. On Aug. 24, six Common Buckeyes caterpillars were found there. Hummingbirds are still regular and numerous at CMBO's feeders and gardens, and the gardens around the county. Clematis or Virgin's Bower is coming into full bloom. Announcements: NJ Audubon's Cape May Autumn Weekend has been set for Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. Registrations are pouring in for this event, held at the peak of fall migration. Call CMBO today for details and a brochure. [other 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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