Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/5/1997
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 4 include sightings of SANDWICH TERN, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, local nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips, and a call for your help with the HORSESHOE CRAB crisis.

HORSESHOE CRAB ALERT -- WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP On August 18th new proposed horseshoe crab regulations were published in the New Jersey Register. On that date (August 18th) a 30-day public comment period opened. The proposed new regulations: (1) will establish a limited entry system whereby individuals must meet certain criteria to qualify for a horseshoe crab harvester's permit, (2) will restrict the harvest to hand collection only (prohibiting all other gear types, (3) sets a possession limit of 100 horseshoe crabs per day, and (4) will limit the open season for harvesting horseshoe crabs to Tuesdays and Thursdays during the period of May 1 through June 30. We need all of you to send in a letter expressing your support of these new proposed horseshoe crab regulations. (Fishermen are extremely outspoken against these new proposed regs.) The NJ Marine Fisheries Council must know that the conservation world is still watching. Your written comments must be received by September 17, 1997 and can be sent to Janis E. Hoagland, Esq, DEP Docket No. 19-97-07/634, DEP Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 402, Trenton, NJ 08625-0402. If you'd like to receive a copy of the new proposed horseshoe crab regulations send a check or money order of $2.25 (copying fee) to the Office of Administrative Law, 9 Quakerbridge Plaza, P.O. Box 049, Trenton, NJ 08625-0049 and ask for a copy of the "Horseshoe Crab Proposal adopted as an emergency amendment to N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.16." Thanks for your continued help with this environmental crisis!

Two SANDWICH TERNS (an adult and a juvenile) were on the beach at the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on August 29.

An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was present at Higbee Beach on August 31, with two present there on September 4.

A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was in the SCMM on the morning of September 4, with two BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS there in the afternoon. Shorebirds are still moving in good numbers, with both SCMM and Bunker Pond in the State Park holding birds. Two or three western Willets have been on the beach at the Park. Three AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS flew by the hawkwatch on the 3rd of September.

One or two early BONAPARTE'S GULLS have been seen in the vicinity of SCMM and the State Park, most recently reported on the 4th. A 1st year LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was on the beach at the Meadows on August 29.

Songbird migration was good this past week. A few highlights included 3 GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS on August 29 along New England Rd., 4 WORM-EATING WARBLERS on the 30th and a very big BALTIMORE ORIOLE flight on the 31st, with up to 250 noted at the Higbee dike, WARBLING VIREO and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER at Higbee on the 31st, and a good flight on September 4 with GOLDEN-WINGED and MOURNING WARBLERS.

Jerry Liguori is again CMBO's Official Hawkwatcher, the season starting on September 1st. Numbers of AMERICAN KESTRELS, OSPREYS, N. HARRIERS, and even good numbers of SHARP-SHINNED and COOPER'S HAWKS have been moving already.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD activity is still high, bulking up in order to migrate. If you have hummingbird feeders, continue to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution right on through October. Activity will die down as most of them migrate, but you are very likely to draw in a rare hummingbird in the fall. Trumpet Creeper is in full bloom now and drawing in hungry hummingbirds.

Local Nature Notes follow: Wild Cherries are ripe and being eaten by the waves of migrants coming through. CMBO's Sunday and Wednesday butterfly walks have been good with all the monarchs migrating through. Each of our centers has a display with live Monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises. Stop by and check it out. CMBO's Monarch Monitoring Intern, Elizabeth Hunter, began tagging Monarchs this past week and in 3 days tagged 113, of which all but 15 were males. Please welcome Elizabeth ... she's the one with the butterfly net! Other butterfly news this week includes a continuance of Cloudless Sulphurs working their way north, with sightings coming in from Goshen, Villas, and Cape May Point. Painted Ladies have been absent but one was seen September 3 in West Cape May -- an elementary school release or a southern wanderer. Other butterfly goodies being seen include Sachems, Aaron's Skippers, Zabulons, Silver-spotted Skippers, Banded Hairstreaks, Viceroy, and all the usuals!

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North, either 1 mile south of the traffic light at Rt. 657 or 1.7 miles north of the Gulf Station in Goshen. From either direction we are just around a bend. Look for the split rail fence, brand new sign, large parking lot, and big new building beyond. And the Northwood Center now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. Both centers are open daily, 10-5.

The Cape May Bird Observatory's Program Schedule offers daily bird, butterfly, or wildflower walks. Also offered weekly, but requiring preregistration, are Birding By Boat trips each Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and a Kayak Nature Tour each Tuesday afternoons. Stop by either center to pick up the summer Kestrel Express, which covers through September, and the orange fall Kestrel Express (which covers October through December, with a few additional September programs too) or call us at 609-861-0700.

Special upcoming preregistration programs include a "Champagne Island Cruise for Fall Migrants" on Saturday, September 6, at 4:00 p.m.; Pete Dunne's "Pishing 101" on Thursday, September 11, at 7:00 p.m.; an evening program by Rick Dutko on "Bats" on Wednesday, September 17, at 7:30 p.m.; a "4-day Butterfly & Warbler Workshop" with Pat Sutton & Jim Dowdell beginning Thursday, September 18; a "Champagne Island Cruise for Fall Migrants" on Friday, September 19, at 4:00 p.m.; a "Bird Watching For Beginners 2-Day Course" September 20-21; our upcoming Cape May Autumn Weekend, September 26-28; and MUCH MORE!

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 new Center for Research & Education at 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores. The Northwood Center in Cape May Point at 701 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point and the Center for Research & Education in Goshen, both 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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