Cape May Natural History Hotline - 7/28/2005
This is Pat Sutton with the Cape May Natural History & Events Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.=20 This hotline was prepared on Thursday, July 28. The Cape May Birding = Hotline is temporarily being included in this hotline in an abbreviated fashion. = NJ Audubon's hotlines can be read in full on our website = (http://www.njaudubon.org), by clicking on "Sightings" (top of any page).

Due to a bookstore staff opening, CMBO=92s Northwood Center in Cape May =
will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but open otherwise (Thursday =
Monday), 9-4:30.

A BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH was discovered in Cape May Point on Saturday, = July 23, and has been seen daily since (including today, July 28) at the dune crossover at Cape and Lincoln Avenues. The bird is favoring the Japanese Black Pines here and at nearby dune crossovers. Most observers find it = by listening for its distinctive call. So, listen to tapes and come on = down. Please respect private property and stay out of the dunes.

GREATER SHEARWATERS continue to be seen close to shore feeding in the = rips off Cape May Point. Many observers are having luck from the dune = crossover at St. Mary=92s By-the-Sea (the Nun=92s retreat next to the Cape May = Point State Park). Observers scanning for shearwaters also enjoyed PARASITIC JAEGER (July 25), BLACK TERN (July 27), ROSEATE TERN (1 on July 20 & 24, 2 on = July 26), 17 BROWN PELICANS and a N. GANNET (July 24), 2 KING EIDERS (1st = summer male and a female on July 21), 1st year LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (July = 23). If you=92d like to see or learn how to search for shearwaters and other = late July treats, consider joining the CMBO =93Birding Cape May Point=94 walk (offered every Saturday and every Wednesday, 7:30-9:30 a.m.) Recent coldfronts have triggered the arrival of early landbird migrants: PINE SISKIN (July 13), LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (July 16), = BOBOLINKS, ORCHARD ORIOLES, YELLOW WARBLERS (DAILY), E. KINGBIRDS (July 21), and 20 RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS feeding in the dunes at Cape May Point on = Trumpet Creeper blossoms on July 27. PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS were still singing on territory at the Rea Farm on July 22.

Stone Harbor Point has been terrific. On July 18: ARCTIC TERN. On July 20: 300 WHIMBREL, adult MARBLED GODWIT, GREAT CORMORANT, 40 RED KNOT, = 250 W. SANDPIPERS, and 1000s peep. A REEVE (female RUFF) was seen there July = 21. On July 22: 100s DOWITCHERS, #s WESTERN WILLET, RED KNOT, and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, as well as a GREAT CORMORANT and a BROWN PELICAN perched side-by-side on Champagne Island, the sandbar island in Hereford Inlet between Stone Harbor Point and N. Wildwood. Every Tuesday evening = =93Sunset Birding at Stone Harbor Point=94 with Gail Dwyer and Jim Armstrong meets = at 6 p.m. in the Stone Harbor Point parking lot. Join them and be amazed by = the birds of this magical spot!

The beachnesting colonies at the Cape May Point State Park and =93The = Meadows=94 beachfront and at Stone Harbor Point are full of growing young including AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, LEAST and COMMON TERNS, PIPING PLOVER, and at = Stone Harbor BLACK SKIMMERS. In the back bay marshes FORSTER=92S TERNS and = COMMON TERN chicks are growing, CLAPPER RAIL chicks are in evidence, as well as AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER families, plus migrant shorebirds. To explore = these magic spots consider taking one of the =93Back Bay Boat Cruises=94 = offered every Sunday and Monday (10 a.m. to Noon), sponsored by CMBO. To register call =93The Skimmer=94 directly at 609-884-3100.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are thick at CMBO=92s Center in Goshen and = the numbers will continue to grow. An adult BALD EAGLE flew over the center = on July 23 during CMBO=92s =93Hummingbird Celebration.=94 1 =BD hour = =93Ruby-throated Hummingbird Walks=94 are offered every Saturday and Wednesday through = August at 9:30 a.m. at the CMBO Center in Goshen (600 Rt. 47 North). At the = same location, learn about wildlife gardening by getting your hands dirty = with Pat Sutton each Friday morning (9 a.m.=20 till Noon) at =93Garden Maintenance Workshops.=94 Hummingbird numbers = will build and build through August until the end of August when numbers are =93off = the charts.=94 Join Pat Sutton for 1 or all 3 =93Hummingbird Migration=94 = evenings at CMBO=92s Center in Goshen (Thursdays: August 18 & 25; Saturday, August = 27) from 6 to 8 p.m. when a blizzard of these tiny jewels =93tank up=94 = before migration. To register for the =93Hummingbird Migration=94 programs or = for more information, call 609-861-0700, x-11.

During this super hot weather be sure to clean and maintain Hummingbird feeders at least every 2-3 days, so the solution is as fresh as a = flower=92s nectar. For extensive information about gardening for hummingbirds & butterflies and wildlife in general, visit the =93World of Backyard = Habitat=94 pages on NJ Audubon=92s website: http://www.njaudubon.org/Education/BackyardHabitat

Many of the speciality breeders can still be found in Belleplain State Forest. BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, WORM-EATING WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, BLACK & WHITE WARBLER, AM. REDSTART, SCARLET TANAGER, ACADIAN FLYCATCHER, and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO were all seen there on July 23.

A FOUR-SPOTTED PENNANT was seen July 22 in the Cape May Point State = Park. Last year 6 were seen in the park at the end of July. This southern = species is rare and sporadic or cyclic in our area. Recent coldfronts have = triggered major dragonfly movements recently. On July 20 and 21, 100s of SWAMP = DARNERS and numbers of BLACK SADDLEBAGS, BLUE DASHERS, GLIDERS, COMMON GREEN = DARNERS were seen moving north over Cape May Point. On July 23 another major dragonfly migration occurred involving 11 species: 1000s of BLUE = DASHERS, 100s SWAMP DARNERS, and numbers of GLIDERS, GREAT BLUE SKIMMERS, PAINTED SKIMMERS, and 1 COMET DARNER, again all moving north over Cape May = Point. CMBO=92s Dragonfly Pond at the Center in Goshen is =93alive=94 with = dragonflies feeding, mating, egg laying, and emerging as winged adults.

Today, July 28, is the =93Cape May Butterfly Count.=94 As results are = totaled they=92ll be shared on this hotline. CMBO=92s Gardens in Goshen and = nearby private butterfly gardens have been full of butterflies the last several weeks after a slow start this butterfly season! HAYHURST=92S = SCALLOPWINGS were found on July 21 at Higbee Beach along the dike. The 2 hummingbird moths (SNOWBERRY CLEARWINGS and HUMMINGBIRD CLEARWINGS) = are flying now and being seen in CMBO=92s Gardens in Goshen. The 2nd brood = of TIGER SWALLOWTAILS just started flying. Numbers of MONARCHS are being = found, and many are attracted to gardens with Milkweeds (like CMBO=92s gardens) = and mating, and laying eggs. Their caterpillars are being found on various milkweeds. 20+ RARE SKIPPERS are in CMBO=92s gardens, especially = attracted to the Pickerelweed and the Butterfly Bushes. =91OLIVE=92 JUNIPER = HAIRSTREAKS are out and favoring QUEEN ANNE=92S LACE. RED-SPOTTED PURPLES, QUESTION = MARKS, E. COMMAS, COMMON WOOD NYMPHS, LITTLE WOOD SATYRS, HACKBERRY & TAWNY = EMPERORS are all coming in to ripe fruit in CMBO=92s garden dish and private = gardens nearby.=20 BLACK SWALLOWTAILS and SPICEBUSH SWALLOWTAILS are flying and their caterpillars are common in CMBO=92s gardens on their respective = caterpillar food plants.

TRUMPET CREEPER is in full bloom and attracting Ruby-throated = Hummingbirds. CORAL HONEYSUCKLE is beginning to bloom again. TURK=92S CAP LILIES, = CARDINAL FLOWER, WHITE-FRINGED ORCHIDS, CRESTED YELLOW ORCHIDS, are in bloom, as = is

Four very special =93Tours of Private Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens=94 =

still have room. A tour of private gardens from Dennisville south to Rio Grande will be led by Pat Sutton on Friday, August 12, and again on = Friday, September 9. A tour of private gardens in and near Cape May and Cape May Point will be led by Pat Sutton on Saturday, August 13, and again on Saturday, September 10. Some gardens will be on the August and on the September tour, and other gardens will be new on each tour.=20 Since gardens evolve, repeat gardens will look entirely different each month. These tours are a great way to get ideas for your own garden, to = see secret gardens full of wildlife created by working people just like you (without a staff of gardeners), and to meet kindred spirits! Call 609-861-0700, x-11, for more information or to register.

A =93Kayak Trip to Wild Areas : East Creek Lake and Pickle Factory = Pond=94=20 on Tuesday, August 16, still has room. Call 609-861-0700, x-11, for more information or to register.

CMBO=92s 2005 Workshops cover hot (and fun) topics; many of the summer workshops are held mid-week to avoid summer traffic. A =931-Day = Butterfly Workshop=94 on Wednesday, August 10, is held when 36 species can be = studied in CMBO=92s gardens in Goshen alone. A =932-Day Shorebird Workshop=94=20 on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 23-24, (with 6 spaces left) will enjoy = more than 30 species in many plumages! A =932-Day Fall Warblers, Flycatchers, = and Vireos Workshop=94 on Wednesday and Thursday, August 31 and September 1, = is scheduled for THE peak time for these migrant songbirds. Learn to = =93Identify Birds on the Wing=94 with Pete Dunne during this 2-day workshop, held Wednesday and Thursday, September 14-15. The =933-Day Fall Migration Workshop,=94 Friday through Sunday, September 16-18, (with 3 spaces = left) is taught by Pete Dunne and Louise Zemaitis. A =932-Day Raptor Workshop,=94 focusing on Falcons, Accipiters, and Osprey, will be taught by Pete = Dunne and Pat Sutton on Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25. To receive the workshop brochure (covering 11 workshops now through January =9105) call 609-861-0700 or go to:=20 http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/Cmboworks05.html

Witness early fall migration and breeding birds at the peak of their = nesting season by attending one or all of CMBO=92s weekly walks, requiring no preregistration. For details on each walk as well as CMBO=92s many preregistration programs go to: http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html

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 stop at either CMBO Center, call = the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey = Audubon's web site: http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html

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.=20 Thanks for calling and ENJOY THE NATURAL WORLD!

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