You have reached the Cape May birding hotline. Choosing highlights of the week ending Sept. 10 is difficult. But significant reports include WHITE-FACED IBIS, BALD EAGLE, SWAINSON'S HAWK, SORA RAIL, UPLAND SANDPIPER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, BLACK TERN, ARCTIC TERN, SANDWICH TERN, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER, PURPLE MARTIN movements, PHILADELPHIA and WARBLING VIREO, PROTHONOTARY, CONNECTICUT, and MOURNING WARBLERS, THRUSHES, and a DICKCISSEL.
A probable WHITE-FACED IBIS was reported from the tower at the Gull Pond at Brigantine NWR on Sept. 9. This bird has been seen on two occasions and is probably worth checking out. BROWN PELICANS continue to amuse those seawatching; six were seen 9/5 at the Lighthouse, and six were seen by swimmers off Cape May Point on 9/8. Twenty were seen on 9/9 off Stone Harbor.
A light-morph adult SWAINSON'S HAWK was seen on 9/9 near the Beanery. This bird may be the same seen last week. BALD EAGLES entertained the hawkwatch on 9/7 and 9/8. Other raptor totals from the CMBO hawkwatch: a weekly high of 31 OSPREYS on 9/4; 2 N. HARRIERS on 9/4; 2 COOPERS HAWKS on 9/4 and 7; 4 BROADWINGS on 9/4; 2 REDTAILS on 9/7; 14 KESTRELS on 9/4; 1 MERLIN each on 9/8 and 9/9; 2 PEREGRINES on 9/7.
A SORA was seen at Cape May Point State Park on 9/9. Shorebirds abound at Brigantine; unfortunately they are not close to the road so bring a scope. Shorebirding at the point is slow but there are some shorebirds at the spoil banks at Higbee's Beach. WESTERN SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and SOLITARY SANDPIPERS were there this week. WHIMBREL & RED KNOT were seen at Champagne Island, Hereford Inlet, on 9/4. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was reported from the pool near the Second Ave. jetty on 9/9; one was also seen in the Lewes Harbor from the ferry on 9/8.
A BLACK TERN was seen from the Lighthouse on 9/6. On 9/4 a trip to Champagne Island turned up and ARCTIC TERN, a SANDWICH TERN, and 9 BLACK TERNS. CASPIAN TERNS, LEAST TERNS and ROYAL TERNS are also still in the area. Listen for owls; both SCREECH and GREAT HORNED were heard in Goshen during the week.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS and LEAST FLYCATCHERS were seen on 9/5 in Cape May Point. ACADIAN FLYCATCHER and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER were seen on 9/6 at the State Park; and 2 OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were seen there on 9/8. PURPLE MARTINS have been putting on a show up in Mauricetown, where 11000 were seen swirling about and flying off to the marsh at dusk on 9/4. Thrushes descended on the point this week; VEERIES were everywhere, and SWAINSON'S THRUSH and GRAY-CHEEKED were reported on 9/8 at Higbee.
Five species of Vireo were reported this week. WARBLING VIREOS were seen on 9/8 at the Beanery; two were also seen on 9/6 at Higbee, and one was singing at Hidden Valley on 9/10. One PHILADELPHIA was seen on 9/5 at Higbee, and another on 9/7 at the State Park. WHITE-EYED VIREO, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, and RED-EYED VIREO were present in numbers.
At least 24 species of warblers were seen this week; highlights include CONNECTICUT WARBLERS: one seen on 9/5 at the State Park, 3 at Higbee's on 9/4. Several MOURNING WARBLERS were seen on 9/4 at Higbee's, and one was seen on 9/5 at the Point, and one on 9/8 at the State Park. One male LAWRENCE'S was at Higbee Beach on 9/5; one PROTHONOTARY WARBLER was seen at Higbee's on 9/9, and 2 were there on 9/10. A DICKCISSEL was also seen at Higbee's on 9/5.
Nature notes include Goldenrod, Mistflower, Purple-eyed Rose Mallow, and Swamp Rose Mallow blooming, and just beautiful. Look for the Mallows on the right side of the path as you walk into the Meadows. Poison Ivy is turning lovely shades of orange and red as it begins to finally die back. Butterflies seen this week include Checkered Skipper and Giant Cloudless Sulfurs.
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Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and conservation unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.