CAPE MAY NATURAL HISTORY & EVENTS HOTLINE - March 30, 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 30. 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 page).
Please read to the end of this hotline to learn how you can help (1) Halt
the Harvest & Save the Red Knot from Extinction and (2) with the Annual
Beach Nesting Bird Fencing Days
2 BALTIMORE ORIOLES that spent the winter in a private backyard in Erma
(just south or Rio Grande)at the intersection of Carol Avenue and Oak Lane
continue. They've been attracted to a fabulous backyard habitat complimented
by orange slices and grape jelly.
OSPREYS are back in force. 1 pair was seen mating at their Jakes Landing
nest on March 29. PIPING PLOVER are back! 2-3 displaying males were at The
Meadows on March 29.
A SHORT-EARED OWL tangled with a N. HARRIER at the Corbin City Impoundments
on the last CMBO walk there on March 26. GREAT HORNED OWLS were seen and
heard there at dusk. They should have growing young that will fledge
sometime in early to mid May.
5 WILD TURKEYS were seen in Belleplain State Forest on March 29. PINE
WARBLERS are being heard more regularly and quite thick some places.
The 8th Street Jetty in Avalon on March 24 offered great views of 2 COMMON
LOONS in nearly full breeding plumage, 2 RED-THROATED LOONS in full winter
plumage, 40-50 BLACK and SURF SCOTER whistling and bustling about in full
breeding plumage (the Black Scoter's bills are florescent orange & pink), a
few N. GANNETS (all adults), and a number of PURPLE SANDPIPERS on the jetty.
RED-THROATED LOONS stage / gather at the mouth of the Delaware Bay each
spring in the vicinity of the Concrete Ship. 700 were seen here on March 24.
A GREAT CORMORANT was here on March 29 (look for the breeding plumage white
flank patch!). 200+ N. GANNETS passed by this spot on March 25. CMBO's
"Cruisin' For Loons" on Saturday, April 22 (1-5:30 p.m.) is timed for a
stellar loon adventure, with 10 spaces left. Call 609-861-0700, x-16 to
register or for more information.
BALD EAGLES continue to be easily seen in the heartland of Cumberland
County. 13 were seen on the final CMBO Turkey Point walk on March 26,
including several immatures diving on BLACK DUCKS and a pair at their nest.
RED-TAILED HAWKS were on a nest at Turkey Point. And long lines of 1000s of
SNOW GEESE migrated by heading north.
The pair of BALD EAGLES at Beaver Swamp WMA, just up Sluice Creek from the
CMBO Center in Goshen continues to incubate off and on.
There have been long stretches when no adult is on the nest. At other times
an adult is seriously tucked low in the nest, appearing to incubate. So it
is not looking promising. Often one or both adults can still be found
roosting there. On March 24, 20 WILSON'S SNIPE flushed from the edge of the
walking dike there and others were seen there on March 25.
The freshwater pond on the north side of Reed's Beach Road held GREEN-
WINGED TEAL and roosting BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS on March 27. This pond
gets better and better as spring unfolds. GLOSSY IBIS were at Heislerville
WMA in Cumberland County on March 23 along with lots of waterfowl!
Just a few warm days and butterflies are flying again. A SPRING AZURE was in
CMBO's gardens in Goshen on March 29, while a CABBAGE WHITE was seen in a
Goshen Garden on March 30. TRAILING ARBUTUS is in bloom in Belleplain State
Forest. Daffodils are blooming. Flowering Quince
(Japonica) and Forsythia are just beginning to bloom. Giving color to lawns
and roadsides for the botanist focused on tiny plants, Pennsylvania
Bittercress and Purple Dead-nettle are blooming. Wild Mustard is coming into
bloom in farm fields.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS have returned to the southern U.S. from Central
America. They are just making their way north into North Carolina. We can
expect them in NJ by mid-April. To watch their movement north, go to:
NJ Audubon has some very special "Spring Plant Sales" around the state and
"CMBO's Plant Swap on April 29" lined up for wildlife gardeners, plus a
multitude of learning opportunities, like CMBO's 6- week class, "Wildlife
Garden Naturalist Training," taught by longtime wildlife habitat gardener
Pat Sutton every Thursday evening (6-8 p.m.), April 6 to May 18 (except
April 20). Call 609-861-0700, x-16 to register or for more information.
For full details on Plant Sales and Swaps for "Wildlife Habitats" and
learning opportunities, go to NJ Audubon's "World of Backyard Habitat"
Get a jump on spring and join Mark Garland, naturalist extraordinaire, on a
"Weekend Field Trip to Chincoteague," Saturday and Sunday, April 8- 9. This
trip will explore Chincoteague NWR (in Virginia at the southern end of
Assateague Island), Shad Landing State Park, and the Ocean City inlet (in
Maryland). 10 spaces left.
Call 609-861-0700, x-16 to register.
PURPLE MARTINS are all over, to the south of us. The first NJ Purple Martin
was spotted in Hammonton on March 13, and they appeared on Millville &
Little Egg Harbor on March 29. Monitor their progress north at
Enjoy spring by joining the experts, those who are out every day.
Attend one of CMBO's daily SPRING walks (requiring no preregistration ).
Beginning March 31, there are 1-2 of bird walks every day of the week. Over
the course of a week these walks cover the very best hotspots. For details
go to: http://www.njaudubon.org Calendar/calcmbo.html
If you'd like to help the NJ Fish and Wildlife's 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
Halt the Harvest - Save the Red Knot from Extinction Your help is urgently
needed to ensure the survival of Red Knot.
Please take action by showing your strong support for NJ Department of
Environmental Protection's proposed moratorium on the horseshoe crab
commercial bait fishery for the calendar years 2006 and 2007.
The CMBO Art Gallery's spring show, "Wings and Migration," 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!
CMBO's Spring Programs are now in print (Spring Kestrel Express - stop by
either CMBO Center and pick up a copy) and posted on NJ Audubon's website:
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.
"Driving Tour of Giant Trees in southern Cape May County" - 60 (100 to
300-year-old) trees, including 28 different species - on Saturday, April 8
(10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) with Lyman Hoffman and Pat Sutton. **
"Swamp Pinks and Burden Hill" on Wednesday, April 12 (10 a.m. to 3
p.m.) with Steve Eisenhauer, assistant director of stewardship and land
protection with the Natural Lands Trust, and Pat Sutton. Swamp Pink, a wild
lily that is an endangered plant in NJ, will be in full bloom. Burden Hill,
in Quinton Township, Salem County, is one of the Natural Lands Trust's
newest preserves. 9 spaces left. **
As part of CMBO's 2006 Cape May Birding Workshops Michael O'Brien will teach
a "2-Day Birding by Ear Workshop," Thursday and Friday, May 4-5, 2006. 8
spaces left! Louise Zemaitis & Michael O'Brien will teach a 2nd "2-Day
Warbler Workshop," Monday and Tuesday, May 8-9, since the first is FULL.
Mark Garland will teach a 2nd "3-Day Spring Migration Workshop," Tuesday
through Thursday, May 16-18, since the first is FULL. Both have room! To
register, call 609-861-0700, x-11.
To learn more about these "2006 Cape May Birding Workshops" go to:
NJ Audubon's "Cape May Spring Weekend" is set for May 19-21, 2006.
Brochures have been sent to members. To download a brochure, go to:
CMBO's Northwood Center in Cape May Point and the Center for Research and
Education on Route 47 in Goshen are both 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!