Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/18/2003
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, September 18, 2003. Highlights from the last week include BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, PARASITIC JAEGER, CORY'S SHEARWATER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, SANDWICH TERN, SORA, BLACK TERN, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, and news of the songbird migration.

Tropical storms and a productive cold front have dominated Cape May Birding this week. Remnants of tropical storm Herni stalled in the mid-Atlantic, slowing the pace of migration through Sept. 15th. A cold front passed pre-dawn on the 16th, triggering a flight of more than 2800 raptors on that date and over a thousand on the 17th. The 18th has been dominated by the outskirts of Hurricane Isabel, with clouds, rain, and strong easterly winds.

A male BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER was found in a residential area of Cape May Point on Sept. 16th.

Several PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen close to shore from Cape May Point State Park on Sept. 18th. One was also seen here on the 13th, along with two CORY'S SHEARWATERS. Two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 1 juvenile and 1 second winter, were seen at Sunset Beach on the 18th.

Two SANDWICH TERNS were seen on the beach at The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows") on Sept. 13th, and one was on the State Park beach on the 14th. A SORA was at The Meadows on Sept. 14th. Single BLACK TERNS were seen off Cape May on Sept. 15th and on the 18th.

Three HUDSONIAN GODWITS were at the pools atop the Higbee Dike on Sept. 15th, and 2 were there on the 16th. One HUDSONIAN GODWIT and five MARBLED GODWITS were at Stone Harbor Point on Sept. 17th.

Migrant songbirds reported this week include PHILADELPHIA VIREO from Higbee on the 12th and 17th; PURPLE FINCH at Higbee on the 17th; SAVANNAH SPARROW from Higbee on the 17th and from the Rea Farm on the 13th; plus many warbler reports, including WORM-EATING, PROTHONOTARY, BLUE-WINGED, BLACKBURNIAN, and many others. Highlights from the Morning Flight Project this week included 10 CONNECTICUT WARBLERS on Sept. 17th, 150 BLACKPOLL WARBLERS on the 16th, and 130 NORTHERN PARULAS on the 17th.

Note that the "free bridge" connecting Nummy's Island to south Stone Harbor is now closed until further notice for construction.

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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