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 5 includes sightings of LARK SPARROW, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, EURASIAN
WIGEON, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, MARBLED GODWIT, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, SANDWICH
TERN, a Birder Alert, news of CMBO's Cape May Hawkwatch and our Avalon
Seawatch, an announcement regarding a special CMBO sponsored boat tour to
ISLAND aboard the SKIMMER, local nature notes, and news of CMBO's upcoming
programs and field trips.
An alert to birders. Two cars were broken into at the Hidden Valley Ranch
parking lot over Labor day Weekend. Unfortunately, this happens on occasion.
Take care to place your valuables out of sight, and lock your doors.
A LARK SPARROW was seen from the dike at Higbee Beach on September 3rd. The
sighting was briefand there have been no further reports.
A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was seen in Cumberland County along Bayside Road in
Bayside on September 4th.
A EURASIAN WIGEON, which was seen regularly in Bunker Pond in Cape May Point
State Park early in the week, has taken up temporary residence in Lily Lake.
A BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was in the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on August 30th,
while another was at the impoundments east of the Seashore Road canal bridge
on September 1st.
Three MARBLED GODWITS were seen in the marshes behind Nummy Island on August
30th. They were seen from the "Skimmer" tour boat. More on the "Skimmer" later.
A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER has spent most of this week on the beach in front
of SCMM feeding in the vegetation near the dunes. A SANDWICH TERN was on the
beach at SCMM on August 30th.
Several sightings of OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER occurred this week. One was at
Higbee Beach on August 31st, two were there on September 2nd, and one was on
the trails at the Cape May Point State Park on September 1st.
Other highlights this week included a CERULEAN WARBLER in the State Park on
September 4th, several fly over DICKCISSELS at various locations, a
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER at Higbee Beach on September 2nd, AMERICAN BITTERNS
at SCMM August 31st and September 2nd, and a BLACK TERN at Bunker Pond in
the State Park on September 5th.
A large movement of warblers was noted at the Higbee Beach dike as the birds
dispersed north in the morning. Of the 1200 or so birds estimated flying
out, fully 800 were AMERICAN REDSTARTS. Warbler migration is at its peak in
late August and early September.
This fall we welcome Jerry Liguori as our Official Hawkwatcher at the Cape
May Hawkwatch. Jerry began the season on Sunday, September 1st with a nice
flight of 106 raptors -- highlights included 4 BALD EAGLES, 56 OSPREY, 18
AMERICAN KESTRELS, 1 MERLIN, and 1 PEREGRINE FALCON. Since then flights
have been steady with 92 on the 2nd, 82 on the 3rd, and 50 on the 4th.
Osprey and Kestrel made up the bulk of these flights.
CMBO's Avalon Seawatch has been manned part time by Dave Ward since July and
as of September 1st Dave had tallied 5,769 seabirds passing by 7th Street in
In addition to the 3 MARBLED GODWITS previously mentioned, 11 BROWN
PELICANS, lots of shorebirds, and 1,000 herons and egrets were seen on
August 30th during one of the SKIMMER's birding by boat trips to Champagne
Island. Champagne Island is a favorite roost site for migrant terns and
migrant shorebirds. Most sightings of Roseate, Sandwich, Black, Caspian,
and Royal Terns in the
summer occur here! THE SKIMMER, a very stable 37 foot catamaran with open
and enclosed viewing decks, runs three daily birding by boat trips and each
week the Friday evening, Sunday afternoon, and Monday morning trips are
sponsored by CMBO and benefit CMBO. Details follow and are found at the end
of this tape in program information. The special CMBO sponsored boat trip
Every Friday evening from 5:30-8:30 p.m. will visit Champagne Island. To
register for these CMBO
sponsored boat trips, call The Skimmer directly at 609-884-3100 and say you
learned of the trips
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD numbers have dropped dramatically this week since
many birds have migrated. Yet a few continue to utilize CMBO's feeders and
gardens. If you have hummingbird feeders in your yard, be sure to clean them
out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution. Otherwise the
solution ferments and can be dangerous to the hummers.
Local Nature Notes follow: 6 or so Southern Gray Treefrogs have found a
home behind the hawkwatch board of daily totals. CMBO's monarch project
intern, Gayle Steffy, began tagging monarchs and conducting surveys on
September 1st and has tagged 40 monarchs as of September 5th, all males but
one. There has been little movement and many of the tagged monarchs are
still here. Butterfly sightings this week include Tawny Emperor and
Red-spotted Purple at Higbee Beach, Fiery Skipper at Cape May Point State
Park's garden, White-M Hairstreak in North Cape May, 7 Red-spotted Purple on
rotten fruit in a garden in Goshen, and all gardens brimming over with
Sachems. If you can get comfortable with Sachems and how variable they can
be, you're sure to start noticing other skippers. But until then, it's
going to be tough for beginning butterfly watchers with so many confusing
Sachems about! The wild hibiscus known as Crimson-eyed Rose-Mallow is in
full bloom. Wild Cherry trees are full of ripe fruit and supplying food to
hungry migrant songbirds. Virgin's Bower or Clematis, a vine with delicate
white flowers, is in full fragrant bloom.
Some of CMBO's upcoming preregistration programs follow: On September 14 a
"Tour of Private Butterfly Gardens in Cape May Point" is scheduled for 9:30
a.m. Pat Sutton and Jim Dowdell will lead a "Weeklong Workshop for
Butterflies & Warblers" September 16-20 and there is still room in this
workshop. Our next MEMBERS NIGHT is Wednesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m.,
with Kevin Karlson's slide program on "Alaska: Birds and Wildlife of the
Arctic Tundra." September 21-22 and again October 26-27, Fred Mears will
teach a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course."
NJ Audubon's Cape May Autumn Weekend will be held September 27-29, 3 days
packed withworkshops, field trips, boat trips, and great company! On
Saturday, October 5th Pat Sutton willteach 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. Pat and
Clay Sutton will lead a "Weeklong Workshop for Hawks and Eagles" October
14-18 and there is still room in this workshop. October 19-20 Dave Ward
will teach a 2-day Seabird ID Workshop, to include one morning in the field
and one afternoon indoors. And November 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., Every Monday from 9:30-11:30 a.m., and Every
Friday from 5:30-8:30 p.m.. The Friday trip runs to Champagne Island. 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!