Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/17/1998
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 17 include reports of BELLS VIREO, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE,EURASIAN WIGEON, BAIRDS SANDPIPER, other bird news, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

A brief note: Brigantine NWR will be closed every Wednesday in September and October; in September to allow hunting of local Canada Geese, and in October to hunt Snow Geese.

A BELLS VIREO was present in a yard on Cape May Pint for a few hours on September 15, but did not appear thereafter.

A RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was present on the impoundments in West Cape May for most of the week. The last report available was from September 14. The bird has also appreared in the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) from time to time.

An eclipse plumaged male EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen in Bunker Pond in front of the hawk watch in the Cape May Point State Park.

Two BAIRDS SANDPIPERS were present in the SCMM all week. They were easily viewed from the east walk looking west.

One or two SWAINSON'S HAWKS lingered around Cape May Point until September 13. The Cape May Hawk Watch, was active early in the week, but slowed a little later in the week. NORTHERN HARRIERS put on a good push and a good BROAD-WINGED HAWK flight was evident early in the week. September 17 had a good BALD EAGLE flight with up to 10 seen. The hawk watch, which started on September 1, is manned this year by counters Pete Gustas and Vince Elia, with education interns, Cameron Cox and Jim Tietz.

Passerine migration was good this week. Some highlights follow. CERULEAN, HOODED WARBLERS and CONNECTICUT WARBLERS were at Higbee Beach on September 11. An early LINCOLNS SPARROW was in Villas the same day while GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER was a Cold Spring Campground. An immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was at Higbee on the 12th, along with a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER. A WESTERN KINGBIRD was in West Cape May on the same day. Late were two LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES, one at Hidden Valley on the 12th and one at Higbee on the 13th. A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was near the SCMM on the 17th and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was at Sunset Beach on the same day.

One or two SANDWICH TERNS continue to be seen occasionally, both at Hereford Inlet and around Cape May Point. Two 1st year BONAPARTES GULLS were on Bunker Pond on September 15.

Local nature Notes follow: Butterflies have put on an excellent late season show around Cape May Point. Several southern wanderers have shown up in good numbers. Long-tailed, Clouded, and Ocola Skippers have all been reported at a number of locations, mostly from the Circle Gardens at Cape May Point and from many well-flowered private gardens around the point. Other highlights included Fiery Skippers, Common and Checkered Skippers, White-M Hairstreaks, and Pipevine Swallowtail, Many were seen at the above mentioned locations. The flight of Cloudless Sulphurs continues. With so many suphurs moving through, many are laying eggs. Check patches of Partridge Pea to find their beautiful green and yellow caterpillar. The Monarch flight was very good early in the week. On monarch intern, Larissa Smith, has been hard at work counding and tagging monarchs.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks, requiring no preregistration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

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 call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Don't hesitate to visit our two centers of activity. CMBO's Center for Research & Education is located at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen. CMBO's Northwood Center is located at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Both centers feature gardens, feeding stations, nature & book stores, and birding information. The Center in Goshen also has a wildlife art gallery, featuring artists, photographer, and carvers. Each Center is 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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