Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/2/1993
You have reached the Cape May birding hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights of the week ending Sept. 2, 1993 include: WHITE-FACED STORM PETRELS, BLACK TERN, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, GOLDEN PLOVER, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, landbird news, AMERICAN BITTERN, hawk watch results, and news of upcoming programs.

The Cape May whale watch boat had a good trip Sept. 2, reporting *five* WHITE-FACED STORM-PETRELS, 5 BLACK TERNS, 4 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS and 4 or 5 Finback Whales. On the Aug. 28 trip they had a Humpbacked Whale. For reservations, 898- 0055 or 898 1122.

One or two BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS have been present all week. Two were in the South Cape May Meadows on Aug. 28 and in the State Park, on the sand spit in Bunker Pond Aug. 29-30, while on Aug. 31- Sept. 1 one was seen at the Meadows joined by a second on Sept. 2. The Meadows held 3 WILSON'S PHALAROPE and a LESSER GOLDEN PLOVER Aug. 27, and one WILSON'S PHALAROPE lingered to Aug. 28. The Meadows is really drying out, so don't be surprised when you visit. Aug. 31, there were 8 STILT SANDPIPERS, 2 VIRGINIA RAILS, 1 SORA RAIL, and 2 LEAST BITTERNS; with 3 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS found there Sept. 1. Also there daily are the noisy ROYAL TERNS mixed in with a sizable flock of Common Terns. A HUDSONIAN GODWIT was seen at the Cape May Point State Park Aug. 30.

Despite the heat and summer-like weather, land birds are coming through. On Aug. 26, when everyone pooled their sightings, 19 species of warblers had been seen, though low numbers of each. More recently, the morning of Sept. 2 brought some goodies to Higbee's Beach and Hidden Valley, including DICKCISSEL, PHILADELPHIA VIREO, WARBLING VIREO, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, TENNESSEE, CAPE MAY, NASHVILLE, PROTHONOTARY, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS. Other landbird goodies this week included GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER Aug. 31, CERULEAN WARBLER Aug. 27 and 28, CAPE MAY WARBLER Aug. 27, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER Aug. 27 and 30, two YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS Aug. 28, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER seen daily Aug. 28-31, and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER Aug. 31. Each day has also brought good numbers of PRAIRIE and YELLOW WARBLERS, RED-EYED VIREOS, BOBOLINK, EASTERN KINGBIRD, and N. ORIOLE. BLUE GROSBEAKS are still daily, in fact family groups are still together at Higbee Beach.

An AMERICAN BITTERN was seen at Higbee Beach Aug. 31 on the end of the gravel pit pond in the field past the tower field. On Sept. 2 Brigantine NWR had a HUDSONIAN GODWIT and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. The season's hawk watch enjoyed a fair flight on Aug. 28, with 25 OSPREY, 9 N. HARRIER, 3 SHARP-SHINS, 2 COOPER'S HAWKS, 1 BROADWING, 34 AM. KESTREL, and change.

PURPLE MARTINS are staging again on the wires along the Maurice River; 100,000 were counted on Aug. 27, along with 50-100,000 Tree Swallows. Stone Harbor Point held 10-20,000 Tree Swallows on Aug. 28. A few Am. Wigeon have arrived, and can be found in Bunker Pond visible from the hawk watch platform at the State Park. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are still coming to local feeders, including that at CMBO. The males may have left; no one has reported any this week.

Local nature notes follow. A real push of Cloudless Sulfur butterflies occurred this week; these large, lemon-yellow butterflies come up from the south and will just keep coming. A few other southern wanderers are also showing up, including Little Yellow, and Clouded Skipper, a number being found nectaring around the bright pink Everlasting Pea flowers. The Hackberry trees at Higbee Beach on the edge of the first field have attracted a good number of Tawny Emperor and Hackberry butterflies. A tropical species of dragonfly has been discovered in Cape May during the last week, the Striped Glider. Several were also found last year. Clematis is in bloom on roadsides; Winged Sumac is in flower, Wild Cherry is in full fruit and attracting many hungry migrants; Bayberry and Wax Myrtle fruits are obvious now. Sassafras, Sour Gum and Virginia Creeper leaves are turning red.

Upcoming programs daily through mid-October: Each Sunday through September, a birdwalk at Higbee Beach begins at 7:30 AM in the parking lot. On Mondays, a birdwalk leaves from the State Park Picnic Pavilion at 7:30 AM. Every Tuesday evening a "sunset bird walk" meets at 6:30 PM at the Meadows, until Sept. 7 when the walks meet at 5:30 PM due to daylight savings. Every Wednesday, a birdwalk for beginners meets at 7:30 AM at the Nature Conservancy's property at the Cape May Meadows. Other special programs as well; call for details and registration.

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, phone our office or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point. The Cape May birding hotline is a service of Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609) 884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.

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