CAPE MAY NATURAL HISTORY AND EVENTS HOTLINE, April 9, 2004
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 message was prepared Friday, April 9. For bird news call the Cape
May Birding Hotline at (609) 898-2473. NJ Audubon's three hotlines can
be read in full on our web site (http://www.njaudubon.org), by clicking on
"Sightings" at the top of any page.
The massive concentration of staging scoters or sea ducks can still be
seen from Cape May Point and the Concrete Ship. On April 9, about 1/4
of what had been there in March could still be seen. While scanning
offshore for the scoters also enjoy the hundreds of RED-THROATED LOONS
(staging at the mouth of the Delaware Bay), 100+ FORSTER'S TERNS (in
breeding plumage now), 35+ BONAPARTE'S GULLS, and 40 PURPLE
SANDPIPERS. Working along the beachfront around Cape May Point enjoy
the female HARLEQUIN DUCK (still at St. Mary's Jetty on April 9).
ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS were at the State Park on April 7. 4 PIPING
PLOVER were on Cape May Point State Park's beachfront on April 6.
"Cruisin' For Loons" on Sunday, April 25 (9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.), still
has a few spaces (call 609-861-0700, x-11, to register). To experience
birding south of the Cape May Canal each of the following walks meets
at 7:30 a.m.: (1) every Friday, "Higbee Beach Bird Walk" meets in the
parking lot at the west end of New England Road, (2) every Saturday,
"Spring Migrants at the Rea Farm" meets in the parking lot on Bayshore
Road, (3) every Sunday, "Hidden Valley for Birds & Butterflies" meets
in the small clamshell parking lot on the south side of New England
road, 0.3 miles past the intersection with Bayshore Road, (4) every
Monday, "Mondays at The Meadows" meets at TNC's refuge parking lot on
Sunset Boulevard, (5) every Wednesday, " Birding Cape May Point" meets
in the "South Shelter" raised pavilion at the Cape May Point State
Park. If you're a beginner, join Mark Garland every Thursday for "Easy
Birding" (9:00-11:00 a.m.), meeting on the Wildlife Viewing Platform in
Cape May Point State Park.
Further north up the beachfront, Poverty Beach (at the north end of
Cape May) and the Two Mile Beach Unit of the Cape May NWR (south end of
Wildwood Crest) are also very birdy. GREAT CORMORANTS and LONG-TAILED
DUCKS were enjoyed at Two Mile Beach on April 6. 5 male HARLEQUIN
DUCKS were at Poverty Beach on April 7. Every Tuesday, "Spring at Two
Mile Beach" meets at 7:30 a.m. in the last parking area on the left in
the refuge, which lies to the east of Ocean Drive just south of
On CMBO's Belleplain State Forest walks this week numbers of PINE &
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS are being heard and seen, as well as a few
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, a BLUE-HEADED VIREO, and BLUE-GRAY
GNATCATCHERS. E. PHOEBE are regular at Sunset Road Bridge and behind
the field office, places they have nested in the past. TREE SWALLOWS,
RING-NECKED DUCKS, and WOOD DUCKS are at East Creek Lake. Nearby Jakes
Landing Road also has Pine & Yellow-throated Warblers and nesting
OSPREY. Treat yourself to Belleplain State Forest and nearby Peaslee
WMA by joining CMBO Associate Naturalists on four weekly, 3-hour walks,
all beginning at 7:30 a.m., and all meeting at the Belleplain State
Forest Field Office, just off Rt. 550, west of Woodbine: every Thursday
and every Saturday for the "Birds of Belleplain State Forest" walk,
every Monday for the "Back Trails of Belleplain" walk, and every
Wednesday for the "Birds of Peaslee WMA" walk.
Two very special workshops will feature the best of spring at Cape May
and are filling fast: (1) 2-Day Bullet Workshop: WARBLERS on May 8-9
(Saturday & Sunday), and (2) 3-day Bullet Workshop: SPRING MIGRATION on
May 18-20 (Tuesday thru Thursday). To learn more & download a
registration form for these and other Cape May Birding Workshops, go to
NJ Audubon's web site at:
The "2004 Cape May Birding Workshop" brochure will reach CMBO members
shortly. Call 609-861-0700, x-11, to request a free copy of this
125 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER were at Stone Harbor Point and Hereford
Inlet on April 7. GLOSSY IBIS, night herons, and egrets are flyovers
daily now. Saltmarshes are filling up with these herons and egrets,
Clapper Rails, terns, sparrows, and shorebirds. Three excellent
opportunities to see the riches of the marshes follow: (1) every
Tuesday, "Sunset Birding at Stone Harbor Point & Nummy's Island" meets
at 6:00 p.m. in the Stone Harbor Point parking lot at the south end of
Stone Harbor, (2) every Wednesday, "Nummy's Island Bird Walk" meets at
4:30 p.m. on the Nummy's Island road shoulder just north of the toll
bridge by the first "Speed Limit 50" sign (take North Wildwood
Boulevard to Ocean Drive; cross toll bridge -- ignore "Bridge OUT"
sign), (3) Friday, April 16, "Clapper Rail Madness" meets at 1:30 p.m.
in the parking lot at the end of Jakes Landing Road, near Dennisville.
Temperatures in the 70s on April 7 resulted in dozens of SPRING
AZURES, a few MOURNING CLOAKS, an anglewing, 20 HENRY'S ELFINS, and BEE
FLIES in Belleplain State Forest. The Henry's Elfins were mostly on
Tom's Field Road. TRAILING ARBUTUS is in bloom on woodland trails in
Belleplain State Forest. DAFFODILS and FORSYTHIA are in bloom. Some
fruit trees are beginning to bloom. FLOWERING QUINCE is in bud and
will attract hummingbirds as soon as it blooms! RUBY-THROATED
HUMMINGBIRDS arrived in southeast PA on April 7 and in NJ on April 8 &
9. To learn more, go to:
SHADBUSH is leafing out. SPICEBUSH is in bud. Cape May County's
first PURPLE MARTIN arrived at the Cape May Point State Park martin
housing on April 9. A CHIMNEY SWIFT was seen at Jakes Landing on April
8. Red Maples are flowering and drawing in hungry butterflies, being
the only nectar available in early spring. Every Wednesday, a
"Butterfly & Dragonfly Walk" with Pat Sutton meets at 1:00 p.m. in the
parking lot at the end of Jakes Landing Road, near Dennisville. To
learn of the Monarchs' migration north, go to Journey North's very
educational site at:
Another excellent site is Monarch Watch:
If you are eager to make your backyard more attractive to
hummingbirds, butterflies, birds, and wildlife in general, CMBO has
just the selection of workshops for you. On April 17, Pat Sutton and
Karen Williams will teach a day of "Backyard Habitat Mini-Workshops"
designed for beginners at the CMBO Center in Goshen. Sign up for all 3
one-hour workshops or just one or two. "Butterfly & Hummingbird
Gardening" is offered at 9:00 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m.. "Basics of
Backyard Habitat" is offered at 10:30 a.m. and again at 3:00 p.m.
"Designing a Wildlife Habitat" is offered at Noon. Slide presentations
will feature backyard gardens and key plants! Call 609-861-0700, x-11,
to register or learn more! Too, don't miss CMBO's 7th Annual Plant
Swap for Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens on April 24 (call 861-0700).
CMBO welcomes gardeners (no experience necessary) in our wildlife
gardens at the Center in Goshen (600 Route 47 North). Join Karen
Williams each Friday, 9:30 a.m. to noon, for a weekly "Garden
Maintenance Workshop," where you work in the garden while learning from
Karen about gardening for wildlife while maintaining CMBO's gardens.
Karen Williams will also be available every Friday for "Wildlife Garden
Advice" from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. to assist with plant purchases and
general wildlife garden questions.
"FINE FEATHERS: Selected Works of Prominent North American Bird
Artists" is now on display at CMBO's Center in Goshen (open daily:
9-4:30) featuring works by John Sill, Sophie Webb, Julie Zickefoose,
Keith Hansen, Jonathan Alderfer, Mimi Hoppe Wolf, and Cynthia House to
name a few!
NJ Audubon's incredible 3-day Cape May Spring Weekend will be held May
21-23. To learn more & download a registration form, go to NJ
Audubon's web site at:
CMBO will teach the "Nikon School of Birding" April 23-25, Friday
through Sunday. This workshop is designed to help birders of all
experience levels build better birding skills. Call 609-861-0700 or
stop by either center to request the Nikon School of Birding brochure.
The Cape May Bird Observatory offers many, many other programs than
those briefly mentioned here. CMBO's SPRING Program Schedule can be
read in full at:
http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html and is available at
either center (or request a copy be sent; call 609-861-0700).
CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!
Two dates are set to erect fencing for Beach Nesting Birds: (1)
Saturday April 17 at Barnegat Light (meet 10 a.m. at Barnegat Light
State Park parking lot) and (2) Sunday April 18 at Stone Harbor Point
(meet 1 p.m. at municipal parking lot at southern end of Stone Harbor
Borough). Held rain or shine, unless really nasty rain! Please RSVP
to Todd Pover at 609-628-2103 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to help out.
Directions available from Todd if needed.
Want to help the Red Knots as they concentrate on our beaches along
the Delaware Bay this spring? Sign up as a Shorebird Steward (full
details on back page of CMBO's Spring Program schedule). A training
session will be held in early May and a stipend will be paid to those
who complete the training and work at least 3 days. Contact Larissa
Smith (609-628-2103) to apply or send a letter of interest (and resume
if available) to Larissa Smith, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, 2201
Route 631, Woodbine, NJ 08270.
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 around Cape May County, and
also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates
are typically made on Thursdays. Natural history sightings can be
written on sighting sheets at either CMBO center or called in to
609-861-0700. Thanks for calling and ENJOY THE NATURAL WORLD!