CAPE MAY BIRDING HOTLINE FOR August 26, 2002
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 Monday, August 26, 2002. Highlights from the last 10 days include
PARASITIC JAEGER, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER,
WILSONS PHALAROPE, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER,
HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BLACK TERN, SANDWICH TERN, and news of the migration.
Two PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen from the Avalon Seawatch site on Aug.
Interesting shorebirds continued to be seen at The Nature Conservancys
Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (also called the South Cape May Meadows,
or simply, The Meadows), but water levels have now dropped so low that
shorebird numbers have dramatically declined. A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
was seen on and off from Aug. 17 through the 20th. A BAIRDS SANDPIPER
was reported on Aug. 20th, but not relocated. An AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
was seen from Aug. 17th to the 19th. Two WILSONS PHALAROPES were seen
on August 16th, along with 30 STILT SANDPIPERS and a single LONG-BILLED
DOWITCHER. Another WILSONS PHALAROPE was seen here on Aug. 20th. Six
HUDSONIAN GODWITS and an UPLAND SANDPIPER flew over the Meadows on Aug.
18th but apparently did not stop. Another UPLAND SANDPIPER flyover
occurred on Aug. 17th. An UPLAND SANDPIPER was flushed from fields in
the Rea Farm (the Beanery) on Aug. 17th.
Falling water levels have created shorebird habitat at Bunker Pond, Cape
May Point State Park, along with extensive flats where gulls and terns
gather to rest. Recent sightings here include WILSONS PHALAROPE on
Aug. 20th, up to 4 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS on Aug. 16th, 17th, 22nd, and
24th. Two SANDWICH TERNS were here on Aug. 17th and 18th, and varying
numbers of BLACK TERNS have been frequently seen, with no birds often
present but a high of 5 seen here on Aug. 17th our most recent report
is from Aug. 24th. A SANDWICH TERN was seen on the beach at Cape May
Point State Park on Aug. 23rd.
The Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is
harboring large numbers of shorebirds. Highlights reported to us
include a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, a WILSONS PHALAROPE, and a BLACK
TERN on Aug. 25th; an AMERICAN AVOCET and 10 HUDSONIAN GODWITS on Aug.
18th; and 15 HUDSONIAN GODWITS, 1 AMERICAN AVOCET, 1 WILSONS PHALAROPE,
and 2 WHITE-FACED IBIS on Aug. 16th.
Stone Harbor Point is also harboring large numbers of birds. Eight
BLACK TERNS and 8 SANDWICH TERNS were seen here August 16th, along with
15 Western WILLETS. Three early DUNLIN were seen here on Aug. 25.
Migrant songbird numbers continue to increase. Unusually early were a
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER at Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area on August
21st and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in West Cape May on August 20th.
TRAILLS FLYCATCHERS were seen at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management
Area on August 21st and again on the 25th, along with hundreds of
EASTERN KINGBIRDS. Other migrants recently found at Higbee include
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, CERULEAN WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER,
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, WORM-EATING WARBLER, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, PROTHONOTARY
WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and YELLOW-BILLED
CUCKOO. Flyover DICKCISSELS were reported at Higbee and at the Meadows
on Aug. 18th, at the South Cape May Meadows on the 24th, and at Higbee
on the 25th. Other migrant songbirds reported from south of the Cape
May Canal during the last few days include ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, CAPE
MAY WARBLER, HOODED WARBLER, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, MOURNING WARBLER,
CANADA WARBLER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, and LEAST FLYCATCHER.
Raptors are also clearly on the move already, with several recent
reports of southbound BALD EAGLES, MERLINS, AMERICAN KESTRELS,
SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, and COOPERS HAWKS. The official Cape May Autumn
Hawkwatch begins on September 1.
Spaces are still open for bullet workshops on Fall Warblers on Sept. 7 &
8 and on Raptors October 12 & 13. Spaces are also still available for
the full 5-day workshops on Fall Migration, September 17 21, and
Raptor Migration, October 20 24. New half-day Migration Hotspot
programs are scheduled for Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, and Nov. 2.
Contact CMBO at (609) 861-0700 for more information about these and
other upcoming programs for the busy and exciting fall migration season.
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 our natural
history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during
business hours at 609-861-0700, 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
NOTE THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR LATE SUMMER. Updates
to this hotline are scheduled to be made on the following dates:
Wednesday August 21, Monday August 26, and Saturday August 31. Normal
Thursday updates will begin again on September 5. Please report your
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBOs 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