Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/12/1996
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 12 include sightings of SOOTY TERN and LONG-TAILED JAEGER from Hurricane Fran, COMMON EIDER, EURASIAN WIGEON, SANDWICH TERN, MARBLED GODWIT, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD from Brig, a Birder Alert, news of CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch and our Avalon Seawatch, an announcement regarding a special CMBO sponsored boat tour to CHAMPAGNE ISLAND aboard the SKIMMER, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming programs and field trips.

Although coming on shore in southern North Carolina, Hurricane Fran still produced some sightings of note. Six SOOTY TERNS (four adults and two juveniles) were in the rips off of Cape May Point on September 7th. A LONG-TAILED JAEGER was also present for a short time, as was PARASITIC JAEGER.

Two COMMON EIDERS were between 2nd Avenue jetty and the State Park on September 11th.

A EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen in Bunker Pond at Cape May Point State Park. It has also been seen in the South Cape May Meadows and in Lily Lake.

A SANDWICH TERN was a fly-by at the State Park on September 8th.

A MARBLED GODWIT is being seen around Nummy Island, particularly from the "Skimmer" back bay tour boat.

Am immature YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was at Brig on September 10th.

Two days of rain showers on September 11th and 12th have produced an excellent fallout of landbirds, with birds literally everywhere. Large numbers of warblers, with excellent variety, have been seen at Higbee Beach, Hidden Valley, etc., including MOURNING WARBLER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, WILSON'S WARBLER, CAPE MAY WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN and TENNESSEE WARBLER to name just a few. Also present have been large numbers of VEERYS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, SCARLET TANAGERS, "Empidonax" Flycatchers (mostly LEAST FLYCATCHERS, but also ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS). DICKCISSELS have been reported from several locations. Both WARBLING and PHILADELPHIA VIREOS have been seen among the numerous of RED-EYED VIREOS.

BLACK TERNS were present in the early part of the week with ten being seen off Higbee Beach.

This fall we welcome Jerry Liguori as our Official Hawkwatcher at the Cape May Hawkwatch. Jerry began the season on Sunday, September 1st. Things have picked up late this week with over 400 birds counted on September 10th. On the 12th, nine BALD EAGLES were tallied with six in view at once.

CMBO's Avalon Seawatch has been manned part time by Dave Ward since July and as of September 1st Dave had tallied 5,769 seabirds passing by 7th Street in Avalon.

Champagne Island is a favorite roost site for migrant terns and migrant shorebirds. Most sightings of Roseate, Sandwich, Black, Caspian, and Royal Terns in the summer occur here! THE SKIMMER, a very stable 37 foot catamaran with open and enclosed viewing decks, runs three daily birding by boat trips and each week the Sunday afternoon and Monday morning trips are sponsored by CMBO and benefit CMBO. Details follow and are found at the end of this tape in program information. One or both of the special CMBO sponsored boat trips held Every Sunday afternoon from 1:30-4:30 p.m. or Every Monday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will visit Champagne Island. To register for these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3100 and say you learned of the trips through CMBO!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird numbers have dropped, but are still coming through and continue to utilize CMBO's feeders and gardens. If you have hummingbird feeders in your yard, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution. Otherwise the solution ferments and can be dangerous to the hummers.

Local Nature Notes follow: CMBO's monarch project intern, Gayle Steffy, began tagging Monarchs and conducting surveys on September 1st and as of September 9th had tagged 52 Monarchs, including 50 males and 2 females. But with the Indian Summer weather we were having Gayle was witnessing very little migration -- that is until this last cold front which triggered some fresh arrivals! The first Long-tailed Skipper of the fall was discovered September 12th in a garden in West Cape May. Other butterfly sightings this week include Tawny and Hackberry Emperors, Red-spotted Purples, and countless Sachems.

Some of CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs follow: Pat Sutton and Jim Dowdell will lead a "Weeklong Workshop for Butterflies & Warblers" September 16-20 and there is still room in this workshop. Our next MEMBERS NIGHT is Wednesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m., with Kevin Karlson's slide program on "Alaska: Birds and Wildlife of the Arctic Tundra." September 21-22 and again October 26-27, Fred Mears will teach a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course."

NJ Audubon's Cape May Autumn Weekend will be held September 27-29, 3 days packed with workshops, field trips, boat trips, and great company! On Saturday, October 5th Pat Sutton will teach a "Backyard Habitat for Wildlife Workshop," to be followed by a plant sale. October 12th, Dr. George Uetz, an authority on spiders will share an indoor program and then take us on a spider outing to see and learn more about the spiders around us. Pat and Clay Sutton will lead a "Weeklong Workshop for Hawks and Eagles" October 14-18 and there is still room in this workshop. October 19-20 Dave Ward will teach a 2-day Seabird ID Workshop, to include one morning in the field and one afternoon indoors. And November 1-3 is THE BIRD SHOW, a 3-day birding festival here in Cape May! Every day CMBO offers one or several bird, butterfly, or botany walks that require no preregistration -- JUST COME! Call CMBO (at 609-884-2736) for the Fall Program Schedule, which includes details and information on registration for the special programs and meeting place and times for our daily walks.

CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard THE SKIMMER are offered Every Sunday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Every Monday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. One or both of these trips may run to Champagne Island. To register for these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3100 and say you learned of the trips through CMBO!

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 office at 609-884-2736 or send a request for information to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open DAILY, 9-5.

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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