Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/3/1995
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending Aug. 3, 1995 include AMERICAN AVOCET, SANDWICH TERN, ROSEATE TERN, early migration reports, nature notes, etc.

An AMERICAN AVOCET was found on Aug. 2 on Ocean Drive, at mile marker 1 (one), on the mudflats across from the Breezy Lee Marina. The bird was still present today, Aug. 3.

A SANDWICH TERN was seen at the Avalon Sea Watch on July 30; this sighting corresponds with an influx of ROYAL TERNS to the area from the south. A ROSEATE TERN was at the Sea Watch Aug. 1; this is the fourth sighting in the last ten days, and could involve the same individual.

The South Cape May Meadows site has been excellent for migrating shorebirds. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was there on July 31, and up to 81 STILT SANDPIPERS were there on Aug. 1. Other shorebirds this week include WESTERN SANDPIPERS, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, & PECTORAL SANDPIPERS.

A few early migrant warblers were seen this week; two BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS and a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH were at Higbee Beach on July 29, and an AMERICAN REDSTART and two BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS were there on Aug. 2. Hummingbird activity is high now that young have fledged and are beginning to move. Trumpet creeper is in bloom, a favorite of hungry hummers.

The parking lots at Higbee Beach WMA are still closed for the summer. This does not mean that Higbee Beach is closed, just the parking lots. You can still bird and butterfly the area, but you must be dropped off there, ride a bike, or park in the Hidden Valley parking lot further up New England Road and walk down. The parking lot closures are the state of NJ's attempt to address illicit activities that occur there during warm summer months. The lots will remain closed THROUGH LABOR DAY WEEKEND.

Local Nature Notes follow.

DRAGONFLIES are on the move early, this fall. The morning of July 30, 30 SWAMP DARNERS and one COMMON GREEN DARNER were seen. That same evening, Jim Dowdell witnessed a major dragonfly migration between 5 PM and 7 PM, near his home in the Villas along the Delaware Bayshore. He had just returned home when he realized that thousands of dragonflies were on the move, heading north/northeast following the coastline. Who knows when this movement actually began. Jim counted 200 to 250 dragonflies per minute for two hours, or 24,000 to 30,000 dragonflies. The flight was made up of about 60 per cent WANDERING GLIDERS and forty per cent SPOT-WINGED GLIDERS; these are rain-pool dragonflies that respond to storms and associated temporary water pools. Other species in small numbers included BLACK-MANTLED GLIDERS, VIOLET-MASKED GLIDERS, GREEN DARNERS, TWELVE-SPOTTED SKIMMERS, PAINTED SKIMMER, BLUE DASHER, SLATY SKIMMER. They were moving in a 1/4 mile wide band, from the tide line to about half a block inland. They were only inches over the beach to about waist level.

Butterfly enthusiasts are spending time in the "Circle Gardens" at Cape May Point. There are lots of skippers, including SACHEMS, BROADWINGED SKIPPERS, NORTHERN BROKEN-DASH, FIERY SKIPPERS, AMERICAN LADY, RED ADMIRAL, VICEROY, SUMMER AZURE, MONARCH, and SPICEBUSH SWALLOWTAIL.

[Program Information Omitted]

The 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, and the Observatory, call our office at 609-884-2736 or a send a request for info to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area, do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open 9-5 every day but Monday.

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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