Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/4/2003
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, September 4, 2003. Highlights from the last week include SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, UPLAND SANDPIPER, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, CORY'S SHEARWATER, MARBLED GODWIT, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, BLACK TERN, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, and news of the songbird and raptor migrations.

A juvenile SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER has been seen at the Johnson Sod Farm Sept. 3rd and 4th. This farm is southwest of Elmer and the location straddles the Cumberland/Salem County line. From U.S. Rt. 40 west between Elmer and Woodstown go south about 5 miles on Rt. 77 to Grier's Lane. Turn left here and watch for the shorebird flocks on the turf. Minimums of 50 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, 40 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS, 2 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, and 2 UPLAND SANDPIPERS are also being seen here. The sod farm is private property and birders are urged to exercise extreme courtesy. Park well off the road and do not walk onto sod or plowed fields for any reason. Be very careful of the heavy machinery and the workers who are harvesting sod.

Three CORY'S SHEARWATERS were seen from Higbee on Aug. 28th, and others (no total reported) seen from the hawkwatch at Cape May Point State Park on Sept. 3rd. CORY'S SHEARWATERS are also being regularly seen just offshore from the Cape May whale watching and fishing boats.

A MARBLED GODWIT was reported from Champagne Island, off Ocean Drive, on Sept. 3rd. A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was atop the Higbee Dike on Aug. 28th and 29th.

Birds seen at the Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on Aug. 30th and 31st include 1 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, 2 MARBLED GODWITS, 7 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, 2 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS, and 1 BLACK TERN.

Highlights of the songbird migration during the last week include flyover DICKCISSEL on Sept. 4th at the CMBO Morning Flight Project site, located at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area; 1665 flyover BOBOLINKS, 219 AMERICAN REDSTARTS, and 150 NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES here on Aug. 31st; and reports of many Neotropical migrants at Higbee and other land birding sites around Cape May throughout the week, including CANADA WARBLER, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, HOODED WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, PHILADELPHIA VIREO, WARBLING VIREO, LEAST FLYCATCHER, and both BALTIMORE and ORCHARD ORIOLES. A CONNECTICUT WARBLER was reported from Higbee Sept. 2nd and 3rd.

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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