Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/9/1999
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 9 include reports of FEA'S PETREL, MANX SHEARWATER, AUDUBON'S SHEARWATERS, CORY'S SHEARWATERS, GREATER SHEARWATERS, SOOTY TERN, ARCTIC TERN, LARK SPARROW, other bird news, local Nature Notes, info on a local pelagic trip, and news of CMBO.

Note: The parking lots for Hidden Valley and Higbee Beach are open. Forsythe NWR (or Brigantine) will be closed on Thursdays until October 28 for goose management.

Persistent easterly winds brought an array of pelagic species to the mouth of the Delaware Bay on September 5 and 6, within view of observers in the Cape May Point State Park. The most outstanding report was that of a FEA'S PETREL on September 5 by an observer familiar with the species. Other sightings included a juvenile SOOTY TERN, 2 MANX SHEARWATERS, AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER, SEVERAL CORY'S SHEARWATERS, GREATER SHEARWATER, a number of PARASITIC JAEGERS, and up to 10 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS. On the 7TH, 2 CORY'S SHEARWATERS and 2 AUDUBON'S SHEARWATERS washed up dead on Cape May beaches.

An ARCTIC TERN was present in Cape May Point State Park on September 7. The bird spent time both on the beach and on the island in Bunker Pond.

A LARK SPARROW was present at the Hawk Watch platform in the Cape May Point State Park on September 8.

SANDWICH TERNS continue to be an every day occurrence at the Cape May Point State Park and elsewhere.

Shorebirds were also effected by the easterly winds. On September 6, the Johnson's Sod Farms in northern Cumberland County held 92 GOLDEN PLOVERS, 14 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, and 3 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS. There were 4 MARBLED GODWITS at Thompson's Beach on the 9th, and 2 continue to be reported from Hereford Inlet. HUDSONIAN GODWITS also made an appearance this week with 8 at the South Cape May Meadows (SCMM) on the 6th. A BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was on the beach at the SCMM on the 5th. Five PIPING PLOVER were still at Hereford Inlet on the 6th.

Song birds were in relatively short supply this week, with a small flight on September 9. A DICKCISSEL was with House Sparrows below the Hawk Watch on September 4, and another was at Stone Harbor Point on the 6th. A MOURNING WARBLER was in the Cape May Point State Park on the 5th, and 2 PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS were at Higbee Beach on the 8th.

The Cape May Hawk Watch began its 24th year on September 1 on the newly constructed hawk watch. This years primary counter is Dave Hedeen from Cincinnati, OH. Vince Elia will be spelling Dave on his days off. The count has suffered a bit from the persistent east winds, but that should change this weekend with the expected cold front.

Nature Notes: CMBO's Wednesday butterfly walk at the Pavilion Circle Gardens at Cape May Point on September 8 was highlighted by 5 FIERY SKIPPERS. CLOUDLESS SULPHURS, a southern emigrant, are being noted in increasing numbers and we're poised for a large influx. We are awaiting the next good push of MONARCHS, which should come this weekend with the expected cold front.

The Cape May Bird Observatory has daily walks, requiring no preregistration, and many special field trips and programs that do. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop our centers, or call 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

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 hotline. For more information call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Don't hesitate to visit our two centers of activity. CMBO's Center for Research & Education is located at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen. CMBO's Northwood Center is located at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point. Both centers feature gardens, feeding stations, nature & book stores, and birding information. The Center in Goshen also has a wildlife art gallery, featuring artists, photographer, and carvers. Each Center is 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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