Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/23/1999
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 23 include reports of Hurricane Floyd birds like SOOTY TERNS, BRIDLED TERNS, ARCTIC TERNS, BLACK TERNS, AND SANDWICH TERNS, PARASITIC and POMARINE JAEGERS, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, RED PHALAROPE, MERLIN, GOLDEN PLOVER, SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROW, MARBLED GODWIT, RED CROSSBILL, PURPLE FINCH, news of landbird flights, local nature notes, and news of CMBO.

Note: Forsythe NWR (or Brigantine) will be closed on Thursdays until October 28 for goose management.

Observers during Hurricane Floyd, on September 16th, sea watched from Cape May Point and saw: 40-50 SOOTY TERNS, 8-10 BRIDLED TERNS, 1 ADULT ARCTIC TERN, 2 BLACK TERNS, 25 SANDWICH TERNS, 1 WILSONS STORM PETREL, 35 PARASITIC JAEGERS, 1 POMARINE JAEGER, 1 shearwater, 17 RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, and 25 phalarope species.

The following day, Sept. 17, 2 ARCTIC TERNS, 4 SANDWICH TERNS, 1 BLACK TERN, and a GOLDEN PLOVER were enjoyed by seawatchers at Cape May Point.

150 BLACK SKIMMERS were on the beach in Cape May near Convention Center on Sept. 19.

A RED PHALAROPE was in Lily Lake on September 22. The AMERICAN AVOCET reported on the last hotline was last seen September 17th in Bunker Pond.

A MERLIN has been hunting the grounds at CMBOs center in Goshen since September 20, and was still enjoyed today, September 23 as it fed on grasshoppers.


4 MARBLED GODWIT were seen at Thompsons Beach in Cumberland County on September 17.

A superb song bird flight occurred on September 18 and the following reports came in from Higbee Beach and the State Park.. Warbler highlites included 2 CONNECTICUT WARBLER, 1 MOURNING WARBLER, 9 BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, 1 BLACKPOLL WARBLER, 2 CAPE MAY WARBLERS, 1 WILSONS WARBLER, 3 BLACKBURNIAN, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, and NASHVILLE WARBLERS. Plus DICKCISSEL, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER, LINCOLNS SPARROW, PHILADELPHIA, WARBLING, and BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, and numbers of ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, SCARLET TANAGERS, PALM WARBLERS, and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS. On September 19, 2 PURPLE FINCH were seen in Woodbine. On the 22nd an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was at the State Park. A RED CROSSBILL was seen September 19 in Cape May Point. Good landbirds continued to be reported through today, September 23rd. 3-4 immature RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are still active at CMBOs Center in Goshen and at various gardens in Goshen.

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. Please also welcome our Hawkwatch Education Interns, Lara Moeckly and Glen Davis. BALD EAGLES came through in force this past week, including 4 the day after Hurricane Floyd on September 17 and a 10 eagle day over that weekend! A SWAINSONS HAWK was seen September 19.

CMBOs Avalon Seawatch officially began on September 22nd with a flight of about 1,500 seabirds, including 1 Brown Pelican and a Sandwich Tern. The Avalon Seawatch is at 7th street and the beach at the north end of Avalon. This years counter is Chris Wood from Lakewood, Colorado. Fred Mears will do the count on Chris days off and the following educators will be on hand during the peak period: Glen Davis, Jim Armstrong, and Gail Dwyer. Thank you for welcoming them ALL!

Local Nature NOTES: The day after Hurricane Floyd, 100s of Monarchs pushed south towards Cape May Point. On the 19th 1,000s were seen and today, September 23, is another good push. Megane Walker is CMBOs Monarch Intern this fall and has tagged over 300 Monarchs since she began September 1st. Common Buckeye numbers rose to the 100s in gardens and meadows following the hurricane. Little Yellows are being seen in Cumberland County at places like Thompsons Beach. CMBOs gardens and private gardens in Goshen held Tawny Emperor, American Snout, several Painted Ladies, Common Checkered Skipper, and Clouded Sulphur on the 19th. Several Mourning Cloaks were seen on the 19th and 21st. Cloudless Sulphurs had waned for a bit, but are back in force now, and laying eggs on Partridge Pea. Reports from Higbee Beach this week include a White Admiral, Tawny Emperor, Gray & Red-banded Hairstreak, Fiery Skipper, American Copper, Pearl Crescent, Red Admiral, and American Snout on the 17th, and a possible Brazillian Skipper on the 18th. 1 Clouded Skipper was seen on the 19th at the Circle gardens in Cape May Point.

On Saturday, October 23 there will be a celebration to recognize the transfer of the former Coast Guard property in Lower Township to the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. The site will be known as the "Two Mile Beach Unit". All are welcome. The ceremony is at 10:00 a.m. In addition, the Cape May Bird Observatory will offer 1-hour bird and butterfly walks at the site at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and one following the ceremony at around 11:00 a.m. The site of the celebration and walks is at the south end of Wildwood Crest, with access off Ocean Drive just as you enter Wildwood Crest.

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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