Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/26/1996
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 26 include sightings of NORTHERN FULMAR, WHITE IBIS, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, EURASIAN WIGEON, SANDWICH TERN, LARK SPARROW, a possible (if not probable) EURASIAN KESTREL, news of CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch and our Avalon Seawatch, local nature notes, and news of CMBO'supcoming programs and field trips.

A NORTHERN FULMAR was a fly-by at the Avalon Seawatch (at 7th St. and the beach) on September 22nd. The bird was quite close to the beach and easily seen.

A immature WHITE IBIS was a fly-over at the Seawatch on September 23rd.

A SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was seen in the center of Cape May city on September 24th. No further reports have been received.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was at the Stone Harbor Wetlands Institute on September 24th and 25th. The bird was seen on the saltmarsh trail to the right of the building.

The EURASIAN WIGEON, seen regularly earlier in the season, has returned to the Cape May Point StatePark. It currently resides on Lighthouse Pond west.

A SANDWICH TERN was on the beach west of the South Cape May Meadows on September 21st.

A LARK SPARROW was a fly-by at the Higbee Beach dike on September 26th.

No doubt the most intruiging sighting of the week was of a large falcon that flew by south of the Cape May Hawkwatch at the State Park on September 25th. The bird was in difficult light during much of the observation but it was felt that structually it did not fit the three common falcons at the hawkwatch: Kestrel, Merlin, or Peregrine. EURASIAN KESTREL was immediately suspected and brief glimpses in better light showed a color pattern that would fit that species.

Some highlights from the songbird migration this week included: OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER at Hidden Valley ranch on September 23rd, several YELLOW-THROATED VIREOS at Higbee Beach on September 24th, and GOLDEN-WINGED and CONNECTICUT WARBLERS, also on the 24th. RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was also at Higbee on the 24th, while SOLITARY VIREO was there on the 25th.

This fall Jerry Liguori, CMBO's Official Hawkwatcher at the Cape May Hawkwatch, is having a banner BALD EAGLE flight. Between September 1st and the 25th 137 BALD EAGLES migrated by, with a total of 45 Eagles on September 20th and 21st. Since September 18th daily OSPREY flights have numbered in the 100's, with over 500 birds on the 20th, 21st, 23rd, and 25th! The season's first NORTHERN GOSHAWK was seen on the 25th. Other highlights include 197 MERLINS and 807 AMERICAN KESTRELS on the 23rd, and 60 PEREGRINES on the 25th. We'd also like you to welcome CMBO's two Hawkwatch Education Interns, Mike Green and Sue Hopkins.

CMBO's Avalon Seawatch began fulltime in mid-September and we'd like to welcome this year's Seawatcher, Bill Seng, and our Seawatch Education Intern, Mike Lanzone! Thousands of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS passed the Seawatch on September 19th and 20th!

Local Nature Notes follow: Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still being seen at CMBO's feederand gardens and at gardens elsewhere in the County. Thousands of swallows are coming through now and swirling masses are a sight to behold day after day! CMBO's Weeklong Butterfly and Warbler Workshop ended September 20th with 31 species of butterflies and a terrific assortment of birds! Some of the workshop's butterfly highlights include the fall's first Cloudless Sulphur on September 20th in Cumberland County on Haleyville Road; also on Sept. 20th at East Point, in Cumberland County, the group had Long-tailed Skipper, Ocola, and Tawny-edged Skipper. September 20th Long-tailed Skipper and Common Checkered Skipper were seen at Pavilion Circle Gardens in Cape May Point; a Long-tailed was seen there again on the 24th. Absent this fall are many of the southern vagrant butterflies that up to this year we "almost" took for granted:like Long-tailed, COMMON CHECKERED, CLOUDED SKIPPER, FIERY SKIPPER, EUFALA SKIPPER, OCOLA SKIPPER, CLOUDLESS SULPHUR, VARIEGATED FRITILLARY, AMERICAN LADY, AND PAINTED LADY. Maybe these recent sightingsare an indication of a late influx of these butterflies. Two major Monarch movements occurred inconjunction with th last two coldfronts. 1,000's were seen September 19-21 and hundreds September 23-25. SACHEMS and MONARCHS are the two commonest butterflies this fall! CMBO's monarch project intern, Gayle Steffe, has tagged over 1,500 monarchs so far and is looking forward to future flights triggered by coldfronts. Dragonflies too have been migrating through, involving GREEN DARNERS, BLACK-MANTLED, VIOLET-MASKED, WANDERING GLIDERS, and SPOT-WINGED GLIDERS! Groundsel-tree, the bush covered with white fluffy flowers, is in bloom now and some days attracting numbers of butterflies. Seaside Goldenrod is coming into full bloom and attracting hungry Monarchs and COMMON BUCKEYES!

Some of CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs follow: Pat and Clay Sutton will lead a "Weeklong Workshop for Raptors" October 14-18 and there is still room in this workshop. NJ Audubon's Cape May Autumn Weekend is happening now, September 27-29, 3 days packed with workshops, field trips, boat trips, and great company! On Saturday, October 5th Pat Sutton will teach a "Backyard Habitat for Wildlife Workshop," to be followed by a plant sale. October 12th, Dr.George Uetz, an authority on spiders will share an indoor program and then take us on a spider outing to see and learn more about the spiders around us. Our next MEMBERS NIGHT is Wednesday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m., with Pat Sutton's slide program on owls and an owl listen! October 19-20 Dave Ward will teach a 2-day Seabird ID Workshop, to include one morning in the field and one afternoon indoors. October 26-27, Fred Mears will teach a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course." And Novembe 1-3 is THE BIRD SHOW, a 3-day birding festival here in Cape May! Every day CMBO offers one or several bird, butterfly, or botany walks that require no preregistration -- JUST COME! Call CMBO (at 609-884-2736) for the Fall Program Schedule, which includes details and information on registration for the special programs and meeting place and times for our daily walks.

CMBO sponsored "Birding By Boat trips" aboard THE SKIMMER are offered Every Sunday>from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Every Monday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. One or both of these trips may run to Champagne Island, a favorite roost site for migrant terns and shorebirds. Most sightings of Roseate, Sandwich, Black, and Gull-billed Terns occur here! To register for these CMBO sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3100 and say you learned of the trips through CMBO!

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 office at 609-884-2736 or send a request for information to CMBO, P.O. Box 3, Cape May Point, NJ 08212. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our headquarters and growing birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Dr., Cape May Point. We're open DAILY, 9-5.

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!

<< 9/19/1996   10/3/1996 >>