Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/2/1999
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 2 include reports of ARCTIC TERN, SANDWICH TERN, MARBLED GODWIT, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, other bird news, local Nature Notes, info on a local pelagic trip, and news of CMBO.

Note: The parking lots for Hidden Valley and Higbee Beach should reopen on Tuesday September 7. Also, Forsythe NWR (or Brigantine) will be closed on Thursdays from September 2 to October 28 for goose management.

An ARCTIC TERN was present for a short time on one of the sand islands in Bunker Pond in Cape May Point State Park on August 30. Another probable Arctic was at the same location on September 2. Lots of terns have been roosting here including good numbers of Royals, some Caspians, and a few soon-to-disappear Least Terns.

An influx of SANDWICH TERNS has been noted over the last week. Eight were present at Hereford Inlet on August 31, up to five were at Bunker Pond on August 30, two were near Poverty Beach in Cape May on September 1, and two were at Corson's Inlet on September 2. Some of these sightings may involve the same individuals.

Two MARBLED GODWITS were seen at Hereford Inlet on August 29 and also on the 31st.

Another shorebird highlight was a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER seen at Bunker Pond on August 30.

Some warbler highlights this week included early YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS at the State Park on August 28 and one at Lily Lake on the 29th. Also seen were WORM-EATING WARBLER at the Beanery on August 28th, MOURNING and GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS at Higbee Beach on the 29th, and WILSON'S WARBLERS on Cape May Point on the 31st and at West Cape May on September 2.

An incredible count of staging PURPLE MARTINS near Mauricetown numbered over 50,000 on August 30.

A good early movement of RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES has been noted since mid-August and this bodes well for numbers later in the season.

The Cape May Hawk Watch began its 24th year on September 1 on the newly constructed hawk watch. This years primary counter is Dave Hedeen from Cincinnati, OH. Vince Elia will be spelling Dave on his days off. The count has suffered a bit from the persistent east winds on the first two days, but Dave recorded 175 AMERICAN KESTRELS on a dry run on August 30.

Nature Notes: CMBO's Wednesday butterfly walk at the Pavilion Circle Gardens at Cape May Point on September 1 tallied over 25 MONARCHS, A CLOUDLESS SULPHUR, 4 SACHEMS, and a GRAY HAIRSTREAK. CLOUDLESS SULPHURS, a southern emigrant, are being noted in increasing numbers and we're poised for a large influx. A CLOUDED SKIPPER, another southern butterfly, was seen at Heislerville, Cumberland County on August 27. Several species are in the middle of their fall broods, including: RED-BANDED HAIRSTREAK, AARON'S SKIPPER and ZABULON SKIPPER. The gardens at CMBO's Research Center has 8 BLACK SWALLOWTAIL caterpillars on our Bronze Fennel and QUESTION MARK caterpillars and chrysalis on our Hops.

Focus on nature Tours is running a pelagic trip out of Cape May on September 5, but the September 4 trip is sold out. The cost is $95 For info call Paul Guris at 1-800-362-0869.

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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