Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 8/7/1997
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending August 7 include sightings of Common Raven, Marbled Godwit, Ruff, Red Crossbill, local nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips, and an update on the HORSESHOE CRAB crisis.

The Higbee Beach parking lots are closed for the summer again, but this does not mean Higbee Beach is closed -- you just need to get there by bike or by walking. Also, the dikes at Forsythe NWR will be closed from August 8 to August 22, and possibly again on September 13 and 14.

Our thanks to all of you who called the Governor in support of her 60 day moratorium on the harvest of Horseshoe Crabs. We may need your help again. New horseshoe crab regulations have been proposed. But the public comment period has not opened yet. When it does, we will include the pertinent information on this hotline. STAY TUNED!

A COMMON RAVEN has been seen over Cape May Point this week. First sighted on August 2, it was also seen on the 3rd, the 5th, and today the 7th. This is likely the same bird that was seen in early July.

A MARBLED GODWIT has spent the week in the Cape May Point State Park. It is most often found on the beach below the raised picnic pavilion, but also visits Bunker Pond. It was seen most recently today, August 7.

A REEVE (female Ruff) made a very brief visit to the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on August 7. The bird was present for only about 15 minutes.

Two RED CROSSBILLS flew down Sunset Blvd., calling, on August 7.

Shorebirds continue to be plentiful at the SCMM. Over 30 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were present on August 3, along with 3 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS. UPLAND SANDPIPERS were fly-overs around the Point on the 6th and 7th.

A BALD EAGLE was over the State Park on August 7.

A good early passerine flight occurred on August 6. Over 100 YELLOW WARBLERS were seen around Cape Island in addition to 20+ NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH. Higbee Beach had CANADA WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and WORM-EATING WARBLERS. LEAST FLYCATCHER, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, and BALTIMORE ORIOLE were also present.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD activity is off the charts! The first brood of young has left the nest, plus migrants from the north are already coming through -- so there are lots and lots of hummingbirds around. They are emptying the feeders at CMBO and constant at flowers in CMBO's gardens and meadow. If you have hummingbird feeders, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution. Otherwise the solution ferments and can be hazardous to hummingbirds. Trumpet Creeper is in full bloom now and drawing in hungry hummingbirds.

Local Nature Notes follow: It seems to be a great year for Monarchs. We have been seeing migrants since the last few days in July. In late July and August, migrant Monarchs seen at Cape May are coming from Canada and New England where evenings are much colder and migration has been triggered. Our local monarchs are still mating and laying eggs, creating the next generation and dying. Each of our centers has a display with live Monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises. Stop by and check it out. CMBO's Wednesday and Sunday morning butterfly walks have been butterfly filled with lots of MONARCHS, RED ADMIRALS, AMERICAN LADIES, QUESTION MARKS, SUMMER AZURES, COMMON BUCKEYES, N. BROKEN DASHES, BROAD-WINGED SKIPPERS & SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPERS, and the fall's first FIERY SKIPPERS on August 3rd and 6th. Fiery Skippers are southern butterflies that wander north in late summer and fall. Too, the butterfly garden that CMBO put in at the Cape May Point State Park attracted an OLIVE HAIRSTREAK on August 6. CMBO's gardens at the new Center in Goshen this week held VARIEGATED FRITILLARY, AMERICAN COPPER, DELAWARE SKIPPER, and SNOWBERRY CLEARWING in addition to the regulars. And a beautiful IMPERIAL MOTH was clinging to the building August 7th. On the dragonfly front a FOUR-SPOTTED PENNANT was seen in the South Cape May Meadows on August 3 and an EASTERN AMBERWING at Pavilion Circle Gardens in Cape May Point.

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North, either 1 mile south of the traffic light at Rt. 657 or 1.7 miles north of the Gulf Station in Goshen. From either direction we are just around a bend. Look for the split rail fence, brand new sign, large parking lot, and big new building beyond. And the Northwood Center now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding bookstore and birding information. Both centers are open daily, 10-5.

The Cape May Bird Observatory's Summer Program Schedule offers daily bird, butterfly, or wildflower walks. Also offered weekly, but requiring preregistration, are Birding By Boat trips each Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and a Kayak Nature Tour each Tuesday afternoons. Stop by either center to pick up the Kestrel Express, which includes our Summer Program Schedule with full details or call us at 609-861-0700.

Special upcoming summer programs include a "Bennett Bog Wildflower Walk" on August 16, a "Field Trip for Shorebirds on the Delaware Bayshore" on August 16, a "Rail Watch by Boat" on Tuesday, August 19, a Member's Night on August 20th on "Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens," a "Champagne Island Cruise for Terns & Skimmers" on August 22, a 2-day "Bird Watching for Beginners Course" August 30-31, a "Workshop on Binoculars & Spotting Scopes for Birders" on August 30, and a "Purple Martin Fest on the Maurice River on August 30.

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 new Center for Research & Education at 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores. The Northwood Center in Cape May Point at 701 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point and the Center for Research & Education in Goshen, both open Daily, 10-5.

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