Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/26/2005

You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Societys Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Friday, August 26th. This weeks sightings include...

... lots and lots of migrants at all the usual good places.

The dike at Higbee Beach enjoyed two sizable passerine flights this week--Thursday, August 25 and Friday Aug. 26. Birders hoping to catch the northbound morning flight should arrive at or shortly after sunrise. Flights of warblers, vireos, tanagers, etc. heading north will continue until about 9 or 10 a.m. Bring forgiving binoculars; leave your field guides at home.

At Higbee, this week, over a 15 warbler species including Canada, Cape May, Chestnut-sided, Worm-eating, Mourning, Blackpoll, Blackburnian. Black-billed Cuckoos and Least Flycatchers are being reported in good numbers. An adult male Rufous Hummingbird was seen from the Hibee Dike on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Also on the passerine front, Golden-winged Warbler was at CMBOs Center for Research and Education on Friday, Aug. 26. Yellow-headed Blackbirds were seen at Cape May Point State Park Aug. 24 and at Brigantine NWR Aug. 25.

Cape May Point, Two Mile Beach Unit of the Cape May NWR, and Brigantine NWR have all been good for Black Terns this past week with 14 seen in the Cape May area on Aug. 22. Sandwich Terns are being seen regularly in Cape May (up to 5) and at Stone Harbor Point (up to 7). High tides are best.

Shorebirds hold center stage at many of the regions hotspots including Stone Harbor Point, Brigantine NWR and the Johnson Sod farms on the Cumberland / Salem County borders. At Stone Harbor Point 30+ Piping Plover were reported along with several hundred Red Knot and up to 11 Marbled Godwit. Brigantine NWR hosted 6+ Buff-breasted Sandpiper (along with thousands of other shorebird species). Johnson Sod farms held a dozen Buff-breasteds, 10 Upland Sandpipers, as well as American Golden Plover and other species.

In addition, a Red-necked Phalarope was at the Higbee Beach impoundment pools during the week, Hudsonian Godwit at Bivalve, near Port Norris, Great Cormorant is being seen at Stone Harbor/Nummy Island and South Cape May, and a King Eider was found at the Alexander Avenue jetty in Cape May Point . . .

In the things to watch for category, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches have already turned up south of the Cape May Canal (a bird that often heralds a good finch year). Monarch butterflies are being seen in large numbers, also suggesting that this years migration will be impressive. The Cape May Hawk Watch will begin September 1 at the platform in Cape May Point State Park. Bobolink flights will peak the next several days. Be on the lookout for Loggerhead Shrike (its now or never). Dont bother to look for Purple Martins north of the Mauricetown causeway in Cumberland Co. The birds pulled out Aug. 25.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory. For more current information and details relating to these sightings and others stop by the Northwood Center in Cape May Point or the Center for Research and Education in Goshen and check the bird sighting sheets. You can also pick up a birding map, checklists, and information relating to our programs and events (daily walks and workshops), as well as registration information for the annual Cape May Autumn Weekend / THE Bird Show (slated for October 27-29). For additional information call 609-884-2736 or 609-861-0700. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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