CAPE MAY NATURAL HISTORY & EVENTS HOTLINE March 2, 2006
This is Pat Sutton with the Cape May Natural History & Events
Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird
Observatory. This hotline was prepared on Thursday, March 2. New
Jersey Audubon's three hotlines can be read in full on our website
(http://www.njaudubon.org), by clicking on "Sightings" (at the top of any
The CMBO Art Gallerys newest show, Wings and Migration, just
opened and will run through June 11. Stunning paintings of
dragonflies, butterflies, and birds adorn the walls of the classroom.
Stop by the CMBO Center in Goshen, open daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,
and be dazzled!
WOODCOCK are in love and dancing! On March 2, between 6:13 and 6:29
p.m. at least a dozen entertained this observer along the Delaware
Bayshore during the last bit of light. Numbers were so thick on the
ground in a few spots that males could be heard growling at each
other. If youve never witnessed this incredible display, join Pat
Sutton and a host of other fine leaders for CMBOs Woodcock Dance,
March 4 (5-7 p.m.). Call 609-861-0700, x-11, for more information or
The Cape May NWR is again surveying for American Woodcock and would
love your help. Four evening surveys will be held: Friday, March 3
and Saturday, March 4 (5:15pm), and Friday, April 21 and Saturday,
April 22: (7:15pm). Volunteers will meet at the Refuge Headquarters
Office at 24 Kimbles Beach Road for brief instructions. Actual
surveys will take approximately 30 minutes, total time commitment
will be approximately 2 hours. Call Heidi at 609/463-0994 if interested.
The first PIPING PLOVERS are due any day. If youd like to help the
NJ Fish and Wildlifes Endangered and Nongame Species Program with
their Annual Beach Nesting Bird Fencing Days, contact Christina
Kisiel, 609-628-1919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Each fencing date only
requires a few hours of mildly strenuous work (pounding posts,
placing rope and signage). Fencing will protect nesting habitat for
Piping Plovers, Least Terns and Black Skimmers. Fencing dates follow:
(1) Saturday, March 25th at 10am at Cape May Point State Park, (2)
Saturday, April 1st at 10am at Stone Harbor Point, (3) Saturday,
April 8th at 10am at Monmouth Beach, (4) Saturday, April 15th at 10am
at Barnegat Light
Seems our SNOWY OWL (or another) is still around. A belated report
came in of one in a backyard in Wildwood Crest at Rambler Road on
An auditory and visual sight not to be missed is the gathering of
BLACK SCOTERS and SURF SCOTERS at the 8th Street Jetty in Avalon.
Close to 400 were there at 9 a.m. on March 2. There was a constant
mournful whistling, the call of Black Scoters, filling the air. There
was also some frisky behavior as male Black Scoters scooted after
females. 30 LONG-TAILED DUCKS fed along the beachfront rocks and out
along the jetty. Some of them were also calling their south
southerly wails as males dashed after females. About 10 COMMON LOONS
fed close to the jetty, coming up successfully with crabs.
Undoubtedly a similar experience can be enjoyed at Two Mile Beach.
Consider signing up for the special Winter Birding at Two Mile
Beach on Wednesday, March 8 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) when George Myers and
Tom Parsons share the wonders of this unit of the Cape May NWR. To
register call 609-861-0700, x-11.
100s of AMERICAN ROBINS covered lawns today, March 2.
Waterfowl numbers along the Maurice River really dropped this week.
On February 28, 2,650 SNOW GEESE, 1,400 BLACK DUCKS, 600 N. PINTAIL,
600 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 4 CANVASBACK, 126 BUFFLEHEAD, 70 COMMON
MERGANSER, 264 RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were tallied.
Also on the Maurice River on February 28 there were 14 BALD EAGLES
(including 9 adults) and a beautiful sub-adult GOLDEN EAGLE (hunting
Snow Geese at Bivalve). COOPERS HAWKS were displaying. RED-TAILED
HAWKS were displaying as well, doing many roller coaster flights and
On February 26, CMBOs Sunday Morning Turkey Point Bird Walk in
Cumberland County enjoyed an adult RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, 5 BALD EAGLES
(including 3 adults), many N. HARRIERS (including an adult male Gray
Ghost), and lots of waterfowl (the SNOW GEESE show, BUFFLEHEAD,
HOODED MERGANSERS, COMMON MERGANSERS), and E. MEADOWLARKS. The group
watched the adult BALD EAGLES working on their Maple Avenue nest.
Join Karen Johnson and other leaders at Turkey Point to savor these
goodies and more, every Sunday morning through March 26 (8 to 10
a.m.), meeting at the end of Turkey Point Road
On February 26 at Pickle Factor Pond male and female COMMON
MERGANSERS were quite frisky.
Unbelievably, absolutely no reports have come in from Jakes Landing
this week, but you can change that by joining Karen Johnson on
Sunday, March 5, by joining her at 5 p.m. for the Nightfall at Jakes
Landing Walk. This walk meets in the parking lot at the end of the
road and should be good for Bald Eagle, N. Harrier, E. Meadowlarks,
Clapper Rail, maybe a Rough-legged Hawk and / or Short-eared Owl, and
even displaying American Woodcock.
On February 26, at Tuckahoe WMA, the CMBO Nightfall at Corbin City
Bird Walk enjoyed a dark ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, N. HARRIERS (including
an adult male Gray Ghost), RED-TAILS, and lots of wonderful
waterfowl. Join Karen Johnson and other leaders at Corbin City (or
Tuckahoe, if thats where the birds are) to savor these goodies and
more, every other Sunday (March 12, 26), for this walk meets on
Griscom Mill Rd. (off Rt. 50) in the Corbin City Hall parking lot at
BALD EAGLES are on eggs all over NJ. The pair at Beaver Swamp WMA,
just north of CMBOs Center in Goshen, is incubating eggs and has
been since at least February 9. This nest can easily be viewed from
the road end at Beaver Swamp WMA or the dike crossing the
impoundment. Be sure to bring your telescope for the best view!
RED MAPLE trees are in bud, a good thing since this is often the only
nectar for butterflies that come out of hibernation on warm days!
DAFFODILS are up about 6 inches and buds are forming. A Harbor Seal
was seen on the beach at The Meadows on February 25.
CMBOs weekly SPRING walks (requiring no preregistration ), not
already mentioned, follow: (1) Every Friday (5 p.m.-dusk), Winter
Evenings at The Meadows meets in TNCs parking lot on Sunset
Boulevard. (2) Every Saturday (8-10 a.m.) Birding Cape May Point
meets at the Cape May Point State Park on the raised Picnic Pavilion.
(3) Every other Sunday (March 5, 19), Nightfall at Jakes Landing
meets at the end of Jakes Landing Road at 5 p.m.
CMBOs Spring Programs are now in print (Spring Kestrel Express
stop by either CMBO Center and pick up a copy) and posted on NJ
http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html A few of the upcoming
programs are detailed below. ** Call 609-861-0700, x-11, for more
information or to register for the following programs.
Explore the Cape May NWRs Great Cedar Swamp Division on Saturday,
March 4 (Noon to 3:30 p.m.) with Pat Sutton and Refuge staff. Learn
how to access this incredible Refuge and enjoy wild and remote parts
of Cape May County you didnt know existed. **
Explore the Two Mile Beach Unit of the Cape May NWR on Wednesday,
March 8 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) with Associate Naturalist George Myers and
Refuge staff. Between the beach and jetty and the maritime dune
forest, anything is possible, including Harlequin Duck, Common Eider,
Snow Bunting, anything! **
CMBOs 11th Annual Optics Sale will be Saturday and Sunday, March
18-19 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Brochures have been sent to members and can
be downloaded on NJ Audubons website. This sale is open to members
of NJ Audubon and/or CMBO ONLY. If you are not a member, join today
and take advantage of fabulous deals!
A Poor Mans Pelagic is scheduled for Saturday, March 18 (7 to 11
a.m.) utilizing the Cape May Lewes Ferry. Birding Cumberland with
a focus on the eagle-rich Cohansey River is scheduled for Sunday,
March 19 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Both still have room! **
Pete Dunnes next 2-Day Bird Watching for Beginners Course will be
offered March 24-25. Friday evenings indoor session runs from 5-7
p.m, followed by an outing Saturday morning (8 a.m. to noon). **
CMBOs Gardens in Goshen need to be prepared for spring. Join us for
one of the 6 Garden Cleanup sessions in March: (1) Thursdays, March
9, 16 (3-6:30 p.m.), (2) Fridays and Saturdays, March 10, 11, 24, 25
(9 a.m. to noon). Dinner or lunch provided! Call with dates youd
like to help: (609) 861-0700, x-11.
As part of CMBOs 2006 Cape May Birding Workshops Michael OBrien
will teach a 2-Day Birding by Ear Workshop, Thursday and Friday,
May 4-5, 2006. This workshop will lead right into a 2-Day Warbler
Workshop with Louise Zemaitis and Michael OBrien on Saturday and
Sunday, May 6-7. Both of these workshops still have room, but tend to
fill fast. To register for either, call 609-861-0700, x-11. To learn
more about these workshops or the 12 other 2006 Cape May Birding
Workshops go to:
NJ Audubons Cape May Spring Weekend is set for May 19-21, 2006.
Brochures have been sent to members. To download a brochure, go to:
Aside from the many NJ Audubon field trips to this location, the
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is hosting a special day called
HARBOR SEALS & HARLEQUINS on Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 3
p.m., to include guided wildlife watching walks, opportunities to
climb the lighthouse, and activities for all ages. For more
information, call 609-494-2016.
See Life Paulagics annual Cape May pelagic trip (run for over 20
years now) will be on Sunday, March 5. Target species will be:
Fulmar, Great Skua, Kittiwake, Red Phalarope, Razorbill, Common
Murre, Dovekie, Atlantic Puffin, jaegers, Gannets, Kittiwake,
Glaucous & Iceland Gulls, Little & Bonaparte's Gulls, whales,
dolphins, and anything else they come across. All of the target
species have been seen on this trip in the past, including 2 very
rare Northern Right Whales. A February 21 trip our of Freeport, NY,
had Thick-billed Murre, 20 Common Murres, 20 Razorbills, a Puffin, 4
Iceland Gulls, 12 Kittiwakes, and 1,675 Dovekies! The March 5 will
run from 6:00 AM to about 6:00 PM, aboard the Miss Chris II, docked
at the Miss Chris marina in Cape May. For more information or to make
a reservation, contact See Life Paulagics at http://www.paulagics.com;
215-234-6805, or info AT paulagics.com.
New Jersey Audubon Society is currently recruiting volunteer
Grasslands Monitoring Associates for its Citizen Science Program.
Participants must have prior experience in grassland bird
identification and be able to visit their assigned sites/routes
approximately four times from May 1 through August 15. These surveys
are intended to determine the distribution and abundance of grassland
birds, and monitor the success of grassland habitat management
programs. Those interested in participating in the project should
contact Mike Bisignano, 11 Hardscrabble Road, PO Box 693,
Bernardsville, NJ 07924, tel. (908) 766-5787 / fax (908) 766-7775,
CMBOs bookstore hours follow: the Northwood Center in Cape May Point
is open Thursday-Monday, 9-4:30. Starting the week of March 6, the
Northwood Center will be open seven days a week, 9-4:30. The Center
for Research and Education on Route 47 in Goshen is open daily (7
days a week) from 9-4:30.
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. All
are detailed in the Kestrel Express. To receive a copy of the Spring
Kestrel Express (now through May) stop at either CMBO Center, call
the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey
Audubon's web site:
This Cape May Natural History and Events 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 and natural history
significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and
this hotline. We detail sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and
Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please
report your natural history sightings to CMBO's Center in Goshen at
609-861-0700. Thanks for calling and ENJOY THE NATURAL WORLD!