Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/31/1995
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. 31, 1995 include NORTHERN WHEATEAR, LAWRENCE'S WARBLER, SANDWICH TERN, MARBLED GODWIT, EURASIAN WIGEON, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, some migration news, hawkwatch, nature notes and announcements.

A NORTHERN WHEATEAR was discovered near Mauricetown, Cumberland County, on Aug. 28. It was seen perching on wires near a field along Haleyville Road. It was seen only on Aug. 28; there have been no further sightings.

A LAWRENCE'S WARBLER has been present at Higbee's Beach for the last three days. It is usually seen in the woods near the parking lot.

On Aug. 27, SANDWICH TERNS were reported from the sand spit in Bunker Pond near the Hawkwatch platform at Cape May Point State Park, along with many COMMON TERNS and ROYAL TERNS.

Three MARBLED GODWITS were present at Thompson's Beach on Aug. 30, in the marsh on the north side of the road. Thompson's Beach is along Old Route 47.

An eclipse plumage drake EURASIAN WIGEON has been present all week in Bunker Pond.

On August 30, a fair fall of passerines was noted at Higbee's Beach, including CAPE MAY WARBLER, CERULEAN WARBLER, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, MOURNING WARBLER, & WORM-EATING WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO, & OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER. The ponds along the east walk of the Cape May Meadows have completely dried up and shorebirds have not been there in numbers, although a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was there Aug. 30. GOLDEN PLOVERS were seen on the beach east of the meadows, and also on the Higbee dredge spoil behind the dike, on Aug. 30; and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was on the spit at Bunker Pond the same day.

Observers scanning the ocean from the State Park on Aug. 28 were rewarded with 3 CORY'S SHEARWATER and a GREATER SHEARWATER. Both species are very rarely seen from land.

Each fall thousands of PURPLE MARTINS stage on the Maurice (say "Morris") River in Cumberland Co., before moving on. This fall the magic dates were Aug. 28-29; 36000 were estimated. This late-evening phenomenon is best viewed from the Maurice River Park in Mauricetown.

The official hawk watch will begin Sept. 1; CMBO's Hawk-watcher this fall will be Andre Robinson; Jerry Ligouri and Paul Koenig will serve as Education Interns this fall.

Note that the parking lot at Higbee Beach is still closed until after Labor Day. You can park at Hidden Valley and walk, but remember that Hidden Valley can be just as good as Higbee.

Local Nature Notes follow.

Butterflies are being enjoyed in abundance here now; our Wednesday morning butterfly walk on Aug. 30 at the Circle Gardens in Cape May Point discovered: MONARCH BUTTERFLY eggs and caterpillars; Monarchs and Sachems, the most common species; two Fiery Skippers; one HACKBERRY BUTTERFLY; numbers of SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPERS, a VICEROY, two RED ADMIRALS, six PAINTED LADIES, two AMERICAN LADIES, TIGER SWALLOWTAIL, and two BLACK SWALLOWTAILS. At least 3 CLOUDLESS SULPHUR were also seen, another southern wanderer which first appeared last week and is now becoming common. Other southern wanderers this week included OCOLA SKIPPER Aug. 24 at the Water Conservation Gardens on Madison Ave.; and several CLOUDED SKIPPERS on Aug. 27 at Higbee Beach.

Two reports of GIANT SWALLOWTAILS have come in; one was from northern Cape May County on Aug. 29, and one from Lebanon, Pennsylvania the same day. Both were seen by beginning butterfly watchers; but each observer was adamant. GIANT SWALLOWTAILS are known to wander. A BRAZILIAN SKIPPER was also reported on Aug. 29 from Heislerville in Cumberland County.

[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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