Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/1/1994
You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Sept.1, 1994, include: SANDWICH TERN, a report of a BAND-RUMPED STORM-PETREL, JAEGER flight, songbird fallout on Aug. 30, fall migration news, local nature notes, and announcements. First a brief announcement: We've been told that the parking lot at Higbee Beach will reopen "after Labor Day." We read that as Tuesday, Sept. 5, we hope. Three SANDWICH TERNS were seen from the Avalon sea watch on Aug. 31; all 3 birds were moving south. The Avalong sea watch is at Seventh Street in the north part of town. A BAND-RUMPED STORM-PETREL was reported by an observer aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher on Aug. 27. There are no confirmed records of this deep-water species for New Jersey, and no details were provided. The Avalon sea watch produced 16 JAEGERS on Aug. 31, an amazing total. Thirteen were identified as PARASITIC JAEGERS, while the others were too distant for specific identification. Over 30 JAEGERS were seen from the sea watch in August. A POMARINE JAEGER was reported from the Cape May Whale Watcher on Aug. 27. A cold front on Aug. 30 brought a good passerine fallout to Higbee Beach. Some highlights included: CAPE MAY WARBLER, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, HOODED WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO, and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER. The Cape May hawk watch, which began on Aug. 15, has had a fine month. Join us in welcoming this year's hawk counter, Jerry Liguori [my apologies for last week's mis-spelling -LL]. Most recently, eight BALD EAGLES were seen at the watch on Aug. 30, and that day totaled 350 raptors. Good numbers of NORTHERN HARRIERS and AMERICAN KESTRELS were seen. The BLACK TERN show, which had gone on for a couple of weeks at Bunker Pond, seems to have abated, although hundreds of Common and Forster's Terns are still using the pond. A large influx of ROYAL TERNS was noted around the point today, Sept. 1. Local nature notes: A RIVER OTTER was seen in Lily Lake today, Sept. 1, swimming and diving, probably for fish. Fall migration is in full steam and hungry migrants are making the most of the many natural areas around the Point. The natural vegetation around CMBO attracted a Veery to White Sassafras on Aug. 30; a feeding flock of Kingbirds was attracted to ripening -- berries on Sept. 1. Some Winged Sumac is in flower; the male flower clump is quite yellow, and attracts nectaring butterflies, and some female Winged Sumacs have already formed fruit clusters. Mist Flower, a wild Ageratum, is in full bloom now; this is a rare plant in NJ, reaching the northern limits of its range here in Cape May County. Clematis or Virgin's Bower is in full bloom. Giant Sunflowers are in bloom along the State Park trails, attracting butterflies to nectar. A major migration of dragonflies passed over Cape May Point on Aug. 30. Thousands were seen; eight species were noted: GREEN DARNER, SWAMP DARNER, WANDERING GLIDER, SPOT-WINGED GLIDER, VIOLET-MASKED GLIDER, BLACK-MANTLED GLIDER, BLUE DASHER, and TWELVE-SPOTTED SKIMMER. On the butterfly front, the first reported WHITE-M HAIRSTREAK was seen on Aug. 10 at Cape May Courthouse. A LONG-TAILED SKIPPER, which is a southern stray, was discovered Aug. 31 in Mount Holly, laying eggs on string beans and nectaring on Lantana. Keep your eyes open; others could be around. CMBO's Aug. 31 Butterfly Walk at Higbee Beach found 16 species of butterflies, including an AMERICAN SNOUT, several HACKBERRY EMPERORS which kept perching on butterfly-watchers, and dozens of MONARCH eggs and a few tiny caterpillars. Other good butterfly spots now would include CMBO's gardens, the Cape May city water conservation gardens on Madison Ave., where FIERY SKIPPERS are being seen, the garden at the circle in the center of Cape May Point, and all the natural areas that are also good for birdwatching. Announcements: NJ Audubon's Cape May Autumn Weekend has been set for Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. Registrations are pouring in for this event, held at the peak of fall migration. Call CMBO today for details and a brochure. [other program notes omitted -LL] 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, phone our office 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 (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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