You have reached the Cape May Natural History and Events Hotline for
Thursday, July 14. If you have sightings relating to the natural world
in Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland and Salem Counties, please report
them to us at 609-861-0700. This weeks hotline includes sightings of
Shearwaters--lots and lots of shearwaters and the first wave of
southbound migrating birds.
Unusual numbers of SHEARWATERS, primarily CORYS, are being seen about
5 miles off Cape May Inlet from the Whale watch boats. On Sunday,
approximately 50 Corys were tallied along with a few GREATER
SHEARWATER. For those looking for a challenge, Shearwaters are also
being seen from various points along Cape May Point Beaches.
Mornings are best, in no small part because of sun glare. Search the
rips where flocks of Laughing Gulls and Terns are gathering over bait
fish. Look for the birds that are bounding, roller coaster fashion or
moving quickly through the flocks. The gulls are hovering, static.
Shearwaters are dynamic, moving through the ranks like polished skaters
among a bunch of amateurs. Your eye will naturally be drawn to the bird
breaking the pattern of the masses.
On July 8, 1 MANX, 1 SOOTY, 1 GREAT and 5 CORYS SHEARWATERS were seen
from the 2nd Avenue. Jetty in Cape May. A boat, off Cape May Point,
recorded 100 Corys Shearwaters, 6 Great and 1 Sooty on July 7. Also
being seen are BROWN PELICAN, WILSONS STORM PETRELS. Try Sunset Beach,
in Cape May for Pelicans--the pilings are a traditional spot.
Additional, notable birds recorded from or on shore this past week
include: a ROSEATE TERN (off and on) 1 PARASITIC JAEGER and 1 possible
LONG-TAILED JAEGER noted by a competent observer and NORTHERN GANNET.
The last half of July is traditionally a great time to see the vanguard
of southbound shorebirds--adults in near full alternate and
transitional plumage. On July 10, 200 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 6-7 WESTERNS, 4
SEMIPALMATED, 10 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 1 SOLITARY
SANDPIPER were seen at the Higbee Beach Impoundments.
While no reports have come in from Brigantine/Forsythe NWR this
regional hotspot is a traditionally good shorebird location in July,
offering, routinely, aspired to species like Curlew Sandpiper, and,
much less than routinely, the odd stint. Be mindful and have a pure
BOBOLINKS and YELLOW WARBLERS, both early passerine migrants have been
reported in Cape May and Cumberland County. WHIP-POOR-WILL and
CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW are being heard and seen on back roads along
Cumberland Bayshore and in Bevan Wildlife Management Area.
This years crop of hummingbirds and their parents are beginning to
forage more widely. The gardens at CMBOs Center for Research and
Education have seen increased numbers Just in Time for the annual
Hummingbird Celebration scheduled for Saturday July 23 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. Theres no charge for either the indoor or outdoor events. Bring
binoculars. Come prepared to be wowed by a creature that is clearly
Who needs pixies, fairies, and leprechauns when the world has
hummingbirds. Also in the Gardens at Goshen this week, and also magical
in their own right, twelve species of butterfly, including 14 RARE
SKIPPERS on blooming Pickerelweed on July 14, a number of MONARCH
sightings, and a sizable Monarch caterpillar!
CMBO Events this week and in coming weeks include Tours of Private
Butterfly Gardens, Kayak Trips to East Creek Lake and the Pickle
Factory Pond, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds Walks every Saturday and
Wednesday through August, Butterfly Walks every Thursday, and much
Our regularly scheduled bird walks are offered Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday--cost is $6 for members and $10 for
nonmembers. Times and locations can be found on the web (addresses to
follow) or at CMBOs two centers.
There are still openings in CMBOs summer and autumn workshop schedule.
Focuses include: Shorebirds, Fall Warblers, Identifying Birds on the
Wing, and Raptors.
For particulars relating to time, place and dates of programs, tours,
and workshops go on line at
http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html Or call: 609-861-0700
and ask for a copy of the Kestrel Express newsletter, or (better yet)
stop by the center. Pick up the calendar of events, bird and butterfly
maps, and workshop brochures in person. The Center for Research and
Education, on Rt. 9, 1.7 miles north of Goshen, will be open every day,
9 to 4:30. CMBOs Northwood Center, in Cape May Point, will be closed
until July 21.
This hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubons Cape May Bird
Observatory. Our mission is the perpetuation of Cape May 200-year old
ornithological tradition through research, education, conservation.
Your membership supports these goals, this hotline, and brings you year
round opportunities to discover and savor the great natural treasures
of Cape May and the Bayshore. Membership is $35 for individuals; $45
Thanks for calling. Well look forward to seeing you in the field and
on one or more CMBO sponsored events.