Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/30/2004
This is the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, September 30th. Highlights from the last week include SABINES GULL, MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD, BRIDLED TERN, PARASITIC JAEGER, BLACK TERN, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, WHITE PELICAN, GREAT CORMORANT, COMMON EIDER, and news of the migration.

A second winter SABINES GULL was found on Sept. 28th on the beach just west of the Second Ave. jetty, at the west edge of the city of Cape May. The bird was also seen twice in Cape May Point on the 29th, once offshore in the rips and once on the beach at St. Peters. A MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD was seen offshore near the Second Ave. jetty on Sept. 26th. A flyby BRIDLED TERN was reported from the Point on the 29th, but we have no details. PARASITIC JAEGERS are being seen daily from shore locations around Cape May Point, with a high count during the last week of 20 on Sept. 28th. The best times to try for these birds are during changing tides, roughly halfway between the times of the high and low tides. Two BLACK TERNS were seen off the Point on the 28th and again on the 29th.

A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was seen at the Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on Sept. 29th, and a WHITE PELICAN continues there through at least the 29th.

One or two immature GREAT CORMORANTS are being regularly seen on the Concrete Ship at Sunset Beach, our most recent report being from on Sept. 28th. A COMMON EIDER continues to linger in the waters around Cape May Point, and another flew past the Hawk Watch at Cape May Point with a flock of migrating BLACK SCOTERS on Sept. 30th.

Fall migration continues at full swing through Cape May. Observers listening to nocturnal migration through the night of Sept. 29/30 recorded many BICKNELLS THRUSHES, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES, SWAINSONS THRUSHES, VEERIES, SAVANNAH SPARROWS, PALM WARBLERS, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, GREEN HERONS, GREAT BLUE HERONS, and a good variety of other species. A good variety of migrants were seen around Cape May on the morning of the 30th, the most abundant being GRAY CATBIRD, NORTHERN FLICKER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and PALM WARBLER. CASPIAN TERNS are being seen daily from the Hawk Watch at Cape May Point State Park, where hundreds of BLACK SKIMMERS are also lingering. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET are now showing up. The hawk count is now over 10,000 for the year, with good numbers of PEREGRINE FALCONS being seen daily. Roughly 100 BROWN PELICANS were seen from the Hawk Watch on Sept. 30th. Single WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were seen on Sept. 30th at Hidden Valley and at a residence in West Cape May. Other migrants noted in recent days include PHILADELPHIA VIREO, AMERICAN BITTERN, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, AMERICAN PIPIT, COMMON LOON, NORTHERN GANNET, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, COMMON SNIPE, and CONNECTICUT WARBLER.

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 CMBOs Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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