Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/18/1997
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 18 include sightings of LARK SPARROW, WESTERN KINGBIRD, MARBLED GODWIT, EURASIAN WIGEON, local nature notes, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.

A LARK SPARROW was seen briefly at the Cape May Point State Park on September 12.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD, seen along Bayshore Rd. near 4th St. on September 15 was joined by a second bird on the 16th.

Four MARBLED GODWITS were on the mudflats near the toll bridge to Nummy Island on September 16.

A EURASIAN WIGEON has returned for another year to Bunker Pond in the State Park, arriving on September 18.

Songbird migration was good this week, particularly at the Higbee Beach dike. On September 13, among 20 plus species of warblers, were over 2,000 AMERICAN REDSTARTS, 100 TENNESSEE WARBLERS, and 2 CONNECTICUT WARBLERS. Also at Higbee on the 13th were CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, and RED-HEADED WOODPECKER. On September 14 at the dike, among many other migrants, were 80 PALM WARBLERS, 25 CAPE MAY WARBLERS, and 30 SCARLET TANAGERS. On September 16 the dike produced over 4,000 migrants, with lots of NORTHERN PARULAS and NORTHERN FLICKERS.

COMMON EIDERS continue in the area around Cape May Point, two were seen off Cape May Point on September 16. A BARN OWL has been hunting in the South Cape May Meadows late in the evening this past week, last seen on September 17. A WHIP-POOR-WILL has been returning to the same exposed perch along Sea Grove Avenue most of the week, to the delight of many.

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 have been recorded with almost 14,000 raptors counted in the last seven days. SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS have made an incredible early showing; the OSPREY flight has been steady, as have MERLINS and KESTRELS. There are three education interns on duty now; two assisting raptor enthusiasts at the hawkwatch and one will be at the Seawatch in Avalon when it begins on September 22. We welcome Mike Green, James Paolino, and Pete Gustas.

Also, CMBO's Monarch Monitoring Intern, Elizabeth Hunter, began tagging Monarchs in early September. Please welcome Elizabeth ... she's the one with the butterfly net! Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have thinned out. 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 falls. The first were seen in early September and now sightings are daily and numerous. Four Fiery Skippers, another southern butterfly, were at the Circle Gardens on September 17. An Ocola Skipper, another southerner, was in the Villas on September 15 Despite the numbers of migrant Monarchs coming through, there are still some resident Monarchs mating and laying eggs -- creating the next generation. Butterfly diversity is good, with Sachems, American Coppers, American Ladies, Buckeyes, Gray, Red-banded, & White-M Hairstreaks, Red-spotted Purples, and Variegated Fritillary all being seen. A big dragonfly movement, consisting mainly of Carolina and Black Saddlebags, was noted on September 15 around Cape May Point.

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 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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