You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. A brief announcement first. Newspaper articles about conjunctivitis and asking folks to stop feeding birds was triggered by a press release from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. What many of the papers do not include was: (1) the suggestion to clean your feeders with a bleach and water solution, 10 parts water to 1 part bleach at least once a week if you do not want to stop feeding the birds; and, (2) if you observe sick birds at your feeder, call Doug Roscoe(?) at 908-735-2849.
An immature, light-morph SWAINSON'S HAWK was captured on September 12, the first day of the Cape May hawk banding operation. The bird was brought to the Hawk Watch platform to the delight of all those lucky enough to be in attendance and then released.
A WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen on September 13, along New England Road about a half mile beyond the Hidden Valley parking lot towards Higbee Beach. The bird was perched on a wire.
A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, first seen last week in the Cape May County Park Zoo, was seen again this week on September 11th.
An eclipse plumage male EURASIAN WIGEON has been present since September 5 at Cape May Point. The bird is seen frequently in Bunker Pond in front of the Hawk Watch platform but has also been seen in the South Cape May Meadows.
A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was seen from the Hawk Watch on September 12. Normally, this early an arrival would be a reason for much fanfare. However, the bird had the misfortune of arriving while everyone was ogling the Swainson's Hawk in hand.
An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was present at Higbee Beach on September 11. Three MARBLED GODWITS were present on some sod banks near Grassy(?) Sound on September 14. The birds were seen from the Jersey Cape Nature Excursions Back Bay tour boat.
On September 11, a bird seen in flight from the dike at Higbee Beach was thought by observers to be female-type WESTERN TANAGER.
The Cape May Hawk Watch is in full swing. This past week, without much fanfare, the one millionth raptor was counted since the inaugural year of 1976. The Hawk Watch was manned that year by Pete Dunne. The milllionth bird was an AMERICAN KESTREL which flew by on the afternoon of September 12th. The 12th was the third day in a trio of days that saw over 4100 total raptors counted. September 10th was the biggest flight so far this season with 1706 birds counted, including 69 MERLINS and 3 BALD EAGLES.
Passerine flights were good early this week. Highlights included: a CONNECTICUT WARBLER on the 9th; CONNECTICUT WARBLERS, HOODED WARBLERS, MOURNING WARBLERS and GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS on the 10th; a DICKCISSEL also on the 10th and a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER on the 11th. A CERULEAN WARBLER was seen on September 15 when a small scale fallout occurred.
CASPIAN TERNS have been seen regularly this week from the Hawk Watch. BROWN PELICANS were also seen from that locale on September 11th and 13th.
Last week's tape reported the departure of adult male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS. They being first to migrate and a noticable drop in the number of hummingbirds in general. Those of us with garden feeders though, are still enjoying constant activity and have had to clean and refill our feeders every few days. Why? Well, some hummingbirds have just left the nest, including 2 young hummers that fledged from the nest in the Cape May Point State Park on Setember 7. Thousands and thousands of TREE SWALLOWS swarmed over the Cape September 11, 12 and 13 descending into to the dunes to eat ripening bayberries. On the 14th, they were gone. That's migration! The next wave will come with the next cold front.
Numbers of ROYAL TERNS are gathering again along our beachfront. You'll hear their call first. Royal Terns nest to the south of us and wander north each fall staging here and taking advantage of the fish in our waters before migrating south for the winter.
Local nature notes ommitted.
New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Autumn Weekend is coming up September 30 to October 2. Registrations are pouring in. Call CMBO today for registration details and a brochure.
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 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 your're in the area, don't hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. We're open 9 to 5 every day except Monday.
The Cape May Bird Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory and details sighting from Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic County 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.