You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Aug. 6, 1992, include: RUFOUS-NECKED STINT, CURLEW SANDPIPER, BLACK-NECKED STILT, AVOCET, HUDSONIAN and MARBLED GODWIT, BLACK TERNS, GULL-BILLED TERNS, UPLAND SANDPIPER, MISSISSIPPI KITE, news of the first warbler flights and hawk movements, BROWN PELICANS, an announcement about an August 8 rally to protest the closure of some of New Jersey's state parks, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs.
Bombay Hook NWR is the hotspot right now for shorebirds. A RUFOUS-NECKED STINT was there on Aug. 2. On Aug. 1 a CMBO field trip visited Bombay Hook, and saw 1 CURLEW SANDPIPER, 12 BLACK-NECKED STILTS, 300 AM. AVOCETS, 20 HUDSONIAN GODWIT, 1 MARBLED GODWIT, 20 WESTERN SANDPIPER, 1 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, 200 STILT SANDPIPER, 10 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, 1000 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, 50 WILSON'S PHALAROPE, 1000 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, and 10 PECTORAL SANDPIPER, among other things.
At nearby Little Creek Wildlife Management Area also on Aug. 1, 2 BLACK TERNS, 25 LEAST TERNS, and 100 BLACK SKIMMER were seen. A HUDSONIAN GODWIT was seen along Stone Harbor Blvd. in the pond east of the Wetlands Institute Aug. 4-5, and might still be in the vicinity. Two juv. UPLAND SANDPIPERS were seen along New England Rd., in Cape May, Aug. 2. The dike at Higbee Beach was good for shorebirds on Aug. 6, with one UPLAND SANDPIPER, one BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, 4 SOLITARY SANDPIPER, one STILT SANDPIPER, 3 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, and 2 WHIMBREL, among other things. A MISSISSIPPI KITE was seen on July 30 at Mad Horse Creek WMA on the border of Salem and Cumberland Counties, either a very early migrant or a bird who summered somewhere nearby.
A pair of GULL-BILLED TERNS on the nest, with one and possibly two young, were discovered on July 30 on Champagne Island, the sandbar in Hereford Inlet between Stone Harbor and North Wildwood. Also seen there on the 30th was a BLACK TERN. On Aug. 3, a GULL-BILLED TERN was seen at Reed's Beach on the Delaware Bayshore.
The South Cape May Meadows on Sunset Blvd have been quite wet with all the rain we've had, and not terrific for shorebirds because the ponds are too deep. Despite this, an adult HUDSONIAN GODWIT was seen there on July 31; one STILT SANDPIPER on July 29; 3 STILT SANDPIPERS, 3 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS and a COMMON LOON on Aug. 4; a male WOOD DUCK in transitional plumage on Aug. 1-2; and VIRGINIA RAILS almost daily, though they are a bit more spooky than earlier in the summer and now require a fair amount of patience to be seen.
These cool nights have triggered the early stages of Fall migration in land birds. Higbee Beach has been the hot spot. The Aug. 6 flight brought 1 juv. E. PHOEBE. Aug. 5 brought 4 CANADA WARBLERS, 6 BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS, 2 PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS, 3 LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, several NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, several AM. REDSTARTS, one "TRAILL'S FLYCATCHER", one LEAST FLYCATCHER, and a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO. earlier in the week, on Aug. 2, the dawn skies brought 120 YELLOW WARBLERS, 3 PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS, a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, one MOURNING WARBLER, and a DICKCISSEL.
Hawk migration has begun, and the CMBO hawkwatcher is scheduled to begin Aug. 15. On Aug. 2, an imm. BALD EAGLE passed over Cape May, and on Aug. 6, an AM. KESTREL migrated by. BROWN PELICANS might be seen if you look seaward. Eleven were seen July 29 from the South Cape May Meadows. Thirty-one BROWN PELICANS were seen on Aug. 1 from the ferry during a Delaware Bay crossing.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are regular at Cape may feeders; including young of the year, so don't expect them all to have ruby-red throats. Remember to clean your hummingbird feeders weekly and fill them with fresh solution, otherwise the solution ferments in the hot sun and could make the hummingbirds quite sick.
A brief announcement that on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 2 PM at the Parvin State Park office on Almond (?) Rd. near Centerton in Salem County, a rally will be held to protest the closing of Parvin State Park and seven other NJ State Parks. Elected representatives will be present, and organizers of the rally are expecting news coverage.
[Program announcements omitted. -LL]
Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and conservation 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, 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 (email@example.com).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.