You have reached the Cape May birding hotline. Highlights of the week ending Aug. 27 include PARASITIC JAEGER, MOURNING WARBLER, UPLAND SANDPIPERS, LARK SPARROW, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER, and an unconfirmed report of a possible ESKIMO CURLEW at Brigantine.
On Aug. 24 a bird smaller than a Whimbrel with a shorter decurved bill and cinnamon wing linings was reported from the south side of the south dike at Brigantine NWR. The bird was seen before you get to Turtle Cove. We'd appreciate any further details on this sighting.
There is a research program, not part of Cape May Bird Observatory, that's dyeing egrets bright pink in southern New Jersey. If you see any birds that fit this description they are probably part of this project.
Hot and humid weather has settled in to southern New Jersey. This is just the sort of weather 3 TRICOLORED HERONS enjoyed at the South Cape May Meadows on Sunset Blvd. on Aug. 26. The Meadows also continue to host a family of VIRGINIA RAILS at the end of the central trail. Continue to look seaward to see BROWN PELICANS; 16 were seen off the Meadows on the 25th.
The official CMBO Hawkwatch began last week. Single BLACK VULTURES were seen on the 22d and 23d. High counts for the week include: 22 OSPREY, 8/20 & 26; 3 BALD EAGLES 8/22; 8 N. HARRIERS 8/20; 10 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS 8/21; single COOPERS HAWKS, 8/22 & 8/26; 9 BROADWINGS, 8/22; 4 REDTAILS, 8/21, 22, & 24; 10 AM. KESTRELS, 8/22; 1 MERLIN 8/25; single PEREGRINES 8/21 & 26. The highest daily total was 47 hawks on 8/21.
Champagne Island in Hereford Inlet has good shorebirds and terns this week; there were 2 BLACK TERNS seen there on Aug. 22 and 24. One HUDSONIAN GODWIT 8/22; 3 WHIMBREL, 8/22. On the 24th there were 350+ ROYAL TERNS, 25 RED KNOTS, 2000+ COM. TERNS, and large numbers of SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, and 6 PIPING PLOVERS.
Six UPLAND SANDPIPERS were seen on a sod farm on Rt. 50 west of Tuckahoe on Aug. 24, and one was heard but not seen at the South Cape May Meadows on Aug. 25. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was seen on the 26th along Rt. 147, at a construction site between N. Wildwood and Ocean Drive. One observer took an evening walk through the meadows and out to the beach, and flushed a PARASITIC JAEGER on the evening of the 25th.
A YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER was seen on the CMBO grounds on Aug. 21. Those in search of landbirds were treated to over 15 species of warblers at Higbee Beach on the 21st. These included 5 GOLDEN-WINGS, 1 LAWRENCES, 3 WORMEATING, BLACKBURNIAN, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, PARULA, YELLOW WARBLER, and PRAIRIE WARBLER. Joining the warblers were large numbers of N. ORIOLES, E. KINGBIRDS, and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS. On teh 22, a MOURNING WARBLER graced the CMBO grounds. Warblers at Higbee Beach on the 25th included WORM-EATING WARBLER, BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, and many WHITE-EYED VIREOS. On the 26th, WILSON'S WARBLERS and HOODED WARBLERS were reported, along with MOURNING WARBLER. A LARK SPARROW was reported from Higbee's on the 25th.
Other nature notes: Zabulon Skippers appeared this week; other butterflies included Red-banded Hairstreak, Giant Cloudless Sulphur, Fiery Skipper, Sachem, Swarthy Skipper, Monarch, Spicebush and Tiger Swallowtails, and Sooty-wing (?). Eight striped Glider Dragonflies were seen this week on Madison Ave. in Cape May; these are new to the County check-list.
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Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and conservation unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, phone our office at 609-884-2736 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.