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. 26, 1993 include: WHITE IBIS, DICKCISSEL, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, pelagic trip results, passerine and shorebird movements, local nature notes, announcements and news of CMBO's upcoming programs.
An immature WHITE IBIS was seen in the company of two Double-crested Cormorants as it flew over the Cape May Point state park hawkwatch and headed for Delaware on Aug. 21. A DICKCISSEL was seen flying over the dike at Higbee Beach on Aug. 21. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was in the S. Cape May meadows on Aug. 23, 24 and 25, and another flew over the hawk watch on Aug. 21.
A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen at the clam shell piles behind Hinch's (?) Marina along Ocean Drive. On Aug. 22, a pelagic trip that originated in Cape May and ventured 55 miles off Delaware was lucky enough to find one of the rarest pelagic birds on the east coast when they discovered a WHITE-FACED STORM PETREL. Also seen on the trip was a BRIDLED TERN, 9 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, and 35 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS.
Besides being the center of hawk watching, the hawk watch at Cape May Point is a good vantage point to watch shorebird movements. Highlights this week included both BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER and LESSER GOLDEN PLOVER on Aug. 26. A passerine movement on Aug. 22 totaled 20 species of warblers, including HOODED WARBLER, CANADA WARBLER, BREWSTER'S WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, and MAGNOLIA WARBLER. Another flight on Aug. 26 included BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, and PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO, SUMMER TANAGER, and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. Higbee's has been the hot spot.
The South Cape May meadows have attracted hundreds of COMMON TERNS, a few FORSTER'S TERNS, and up to 80 ROYAL TERNS. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are still coming to CMBO's feeders and garden. The males are the first to leave, but we are still seeing adult males.
An announcement: join us for another Higbee Beach work day Sept. 2 at 10 AM; we hope to make the trail at Davy's Lake at Higbee Beach more "birder-friendly" and perhaps begin work on a trail through the state's newly acquired tract on Bayshore Rd. Meet at the Hidden Valley parking lot on New England Rd. (1/2 mile before the main Higbee Beach parking lot). If you can't come, you can enjoy the fruits of previous work day's labors by taking the new trail from the Hidden Valley parking lot into the interior of Hidden Valley.
Local nature notes: A yard in Salem boasts its third RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD nest; on Aug. 23 two tiny bills could be seen peeking over the nest rim. One butterfly watcher enjoyed 33 species one day this week at Higbee Beach. A number of Variegated Frittilaries were seen there today. CMBO's butterfly garden has Black Swallowtail caterpillars on the Fennel, and a number of adult butterflies nectaring, including Common Wood-nymph, Red-spotted Purple, Zabulon (?), Silver-spotted Skipper, Spring Azure, Sachem, Spicebush Swallowtail, and more. Bright pink Everlasting Pea blooming on roadsides now is pulling in many of the confusing skippers.
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 through September, 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. Every Tuesday evening a "sunset bird walk" meets at 6:30 PM at the Meadows, until Sept. 7 when the walks meet at 5:30 PM due to daylight savings. There are still spaces available on the two Sunrise Warbler Walks Sept. 3-4. A binocular and spotting scope workshop with Pete Dunne on Aug. 28 still has openings. A photography workshop is scheduled for Sept. 4 with Art Morris. There are still openings but sign up soon. 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.