Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/11/1997
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 September 11 include sightings of EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE, LARK SPARROW, WESTERN KINGBIRD, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, local nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips, and a call for your help with the HORSESHOE CRAB crisis.


On August 18th new proposed horseshoe crab regulations were published in the New Jersey Register. On that date (August 18th) a 30-day public comment period opened.

The proposed new regulations: (1) will establish a limited entry system whereby individuals must meet certain criteria to qualify for a horseshoe crab harvester's permit, (2) will restrict the harvest to hand collection only (prohibiting all other gear types, (3) sets a possession limit of 100 horseshoe crabs per day, and (4) will limit the open season for harvesting horseshoe crabs to Tuesdays and Thursdays during the period of May 1 through June 30.

We need all of you to send in a letter expressing your support of these new proposed horseshoe crab regulations. (Fishermen are extremely outspoken against these new proposed regs.) The NJ Marine Fisheries Council must know that the conservation world is still watching. Your written comments must be received by September 17, 1997 and can be sent to Janis E. Hoagland, Esq, DEP Docket No. 19-97-07/634, DEP Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 402, Trenton, NJ 08625-0402.

If you'd like to receive a copy of the new proposed horseshoe crab regulations send a check or money order of $2.25 (copying fee) to the Office of Administrative Law, 9 Quakerbridge Plaza, P.O. Box 049, Trenton, NJ 08625-0049 and ask for a copy of the "Horseshoe Crab Proposal adopted as an emergency amendment to N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.16."

Thanks for your continued help with this environmental crisis!

A EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE was seen on Cape May Point on September 7. This Eurasian species was introduced to the Bahamas and spread to Florida. It has since made forays to various sites in North America. Sightings are somewhat confused by the possibility of escaped cage birds.

A LARK SPARROW was seen briefly as it flew down Sunset Blvd. on September 5 but was not seen again.

A HUDSONIAN GODWIT was seen from the back bay nature tour boat, the Skimmer, behind Wildwood Crest on September 8.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen along Rt. 147 west of North Wildwood on September 6.

Songbird migration was good early in the period with birds moving steadily, but things slowed down when the winds turned east in mid-week. Some highlights include CERULEAN WARBLER on the 5th at Higbee Beach, CONNECTICUT and MOURNING WARBLERS there on the 7th, and a good flight at the Higbee dike on the 8th with 60 TENNESSEE and 10 CAPE MAY WARBLERS.

Two or three early BONAPARTE'S GULLS have been seen around the Point with some regularity. One to three COMMON EIDERS continue in the area around Cape May Point. BLACK TERN was at Bunker Pond in the State Park on the 11th. An AMERICAN BITTERN was seen from the dike at Higbee Beach on the 5th.

The Hawkwatch began on September 1. Jerry Liguori is CMBO's official Hawkwatcher, spelled by Pete Dunne on Tuesdays and Vince Elia on Wednesdays. Excellent early counts of SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS have been recorded with almost 400 in two days September 4 and 5. BALD EAGLES were regular on the first few days, but persistent south and east winds have slowed that down. Over 1,000 birds were counted on the 4th.

Dave Ward has been monitoring the Avalon Seawatch at 7th Street. Single PARASITIC JAEGERS were daily September 8 through today, the 11th. A PARASITIC JAEGER was also off Cape May Point on the 10th. On September 10 a POMARINE JAEGER was seen at 114th St. in Stone Harbor.

CMBO's Monarch Monitoring Intern, Elizabeth Hunter, began tagging Monarchs in early September and has tagged over 800 in her first week and a half. Please welcome Elizabeth ... she's the one with the butterfly net!

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS have thinned out this week. If you have feeders, continue to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution through October. Migrants will continue to come through and later in the season it's possible to draw in a vagrant hummingbird from the west.

Local Nature Notes follow: Numbers of Cloudless Sulphurs are being seen now; this southern butterfly wanders north each fall. The first were seen in early September and now sightings are daily and numerous. A Clouded Skipper was seen September 8th at Higbee Beach, another southern butterfly that wanders north in the fall. Two Variegated Fritillaries were seen September 6 at Sunset Beach. Despite the numbers of migrant Monarchs coming through, there are still some resident Monarchs mating and laying eggs -- creating the next generation. Dozens of caterpillars were found on Swamp Milkweed on September 10 during CMBO's butterfly walk. Butterfly diversity is good, with Sachems, Zabulon Skippers, American Coppers, American Ladies, Buckeyes, Gray, Red-banded, & White-M Hairstreaks, Red-spotted Purples, and Wood Nymphs all being seen.

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 book store and birding information. Both centers are open daily, 10-5.

The Cape May Bird Observatory's 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 summer & fall issues of the Kestrel Express, to learn of all our programs or call us at 609-861-0700.

Special upcoming preregistration programs include Pete Dunne's "Pishing 101" on Thursday, September 11, at 7:00 p.m.; an evening program by Rick Dutko on "Bats" on Wednesday, September 17, at 7:30 p.m.; a "4-day Butterfly & Warbler Workshop" with Pat Sutton & Jim Dowdell beginning Thursday, September 18; a "Champagne Island Cruise for Fall Migrants" on Friday, September 19, at 4:00 p.m.; a "Bird Watching For Beginners 2-Day Course" September 20-21; our upcoming Cape May Autumn Weekend, September 26-28; and MUCH MORE!

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.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties and near shore waters. Updates are made on Thursday evenings, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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