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 Saturday, August 31, 2002. Highlights from the last week include
WHITE IBIS, GREAT CORMORANT, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, BAIRDS SANDPIPER,
WILSONS PHALAROPE, SANDWICH TERN, BLACK TERN, BONAPARTES GULL, and
news of the migration.
A young WHITE IBIS and an early GREAT CORMORANT were reported from the
marshes behind the Wildwoods from The Skimmer boat tour on Aug. 29th.
Interesting shorebirds continue to gather around Cape May, with most
sightings from Bunker Pond in Cape May Point State Park and at The
Nature Conservancys Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (also called the
South Cape May Meadows, or simply, The Meadows), where this weeks
rain brought water back to some of the flats. Bunker Pond sightings
include 1 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, 3 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, and 1
juvenile BONAPARTES GULL on Aug. 31; 11 flyover WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS
on Aug. 30th; BAIRDS SANDPIPER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, and WILSONS
PHALAROPE on Aug. 28th (the Phalarope reported again on the 29th); and 2
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS on Aug. 27th. Two flyover UPLAND SANDPIPERS and
a juvenile BLACK TERN were reported from Cape May Point on Aug. 31st,
with another flyover UPLAND SANDPIPER reported from the Higbee Dike also
on the 31st. Sightings from the Meadows include a BAIRDS SANDPIPER on
Aug. 31st, LEAST BITTERN, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, and SORA on Aug. 30th,
a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER on Aug. 29th.
The Johnsons Sod Farm, located along the east side of Rt. 77 southwest
of Elmer, is also hosting good numbers and variety of shorebirds. Seen
on Aug. 31st: 2 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, 1 UPLAND SANDPIPER, and 30
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER; on the 29th: 2 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, 50+
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, and 1 UPLAND SANDPIPER; on the 28th: 1
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER and 12 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER. A BAIRDS
SANDPIPER was seen here on Aug. 24th.
The Brigantine unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge continues
to be loaded with birds. On Aug. 30th 3 BAIRDS SANDPIPERS and 200
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were tallied here. Two AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS
were found here midweek. A WILSONS PHALAROPE, a BUFF-BREASTED
SANDPIPER, and a BLACK TERN were seen here on Aug. 25th, and 2 BRANT
were reported by several birders.
Highlights from the last week at Stone Harbor Point include a
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, 2 PIPING PLOVERS, 14 BROWN PELICANS, and 10 RED
KNOTS, all on Aug. 27th, plus 3 SANDWICH TERNS, 2 WHITE-RUMPED
SANDPIPERS, and 20 BROWN PELICANS on the 31st.
WILSONS STORM-PETRELS seem to be staging around the mouth of Delaware
Bay. 45 were seen on a morning ferry crossing on Aug. 27th, and 7 were
seen from Cape May Point State Park on Aug. 28th.
Songbird migration is picking up speed, though new birds shuffle through
Cape May on a daily basis. We have many, many reports of various
warblers, flycatchers, and other songbirds from the Higbee Beach
Wildlife Management Area (Higbee section and the Hidden Valley area),
the Rea Farm (Beanery), and from the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge
(Meadows). Highlights include TRAILLS FLYCATCHER at the Beanery on
the 31st, ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS, LEAST FLYCATCHERS, ALDER FLYCATCHERS, and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS at
Higbee on the 30th, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, CANADA WARBLER, and TRAILLS
FLYCATCHER at Cape May Point State Park on the 30th, 11 species of
warblers and BALTIMORE ORIOLES and ORCHARD ORIOLES at the Beanery & Hidden Valley on the 27th,
and an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, CERULEAN WARBLER, and flyover DICKCISSEL
at Higbee on the 25th.
The raptor migration is also underway, with southbound OSPREY,
RED-TAILED HAWK, AMERICAN KESTREL, COOPERS HAWK, and NORTHERN HARRIER
seen from the hawkwatch in Cape May Point State Park in one hour on Aug.
31st. The official Cape May Autumn Hawk Watch begins Sept. 1.
Spaces are still open for the bullet workshop on Raptors October 12 &
13. Spaces are also still available for the full 5-day workshop on
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
Thursdays. 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