Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 7/22/2004
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, July 22nd. Highlights from the last week include RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, RUFF, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, BROWN BOOBY, CORY'S SHEARWATER, GREATER SHEARWATER, SOOTY SHEARWATER, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, ROSEATE TERN, BLACK TERN, PARASITIC JAEGER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and COMMON EIDER.

An adult male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was seen on July 19th and 20th at the home of Craig Simon at his backyard feeder in Smithville, Atlantic County, often sparring with Ruby-throated, and sitting in a nearby holly tree. He has kindly welcomed birders this week. He lives at 440 Turnbridge Drive, at the corner with Coventry, which is in a small housing development near the intersection of Pitney Road and Quail Hill Blvd on the inland side of Route 9 (take Quail Hill about a mile or so inland from Rte 9). He said feel free to stop by and knock on the door. One can see the feeder from the street corner, too, if nobody's home. We have no reports more recent than the 20th; adult male Rufous Hummers found in the east in July or August typically disappear quickly, alas.

A RUFF was seen on July 18th at the Brigantine Unit of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, in the northwest corner of the East Pool. An AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN has continued here through at least July 20th.

The rips off Cape May Point have concentrated many birds again this week. Seen from shore from various viewpoints around the Point were the following birds: BROWN BOOBY July 16th and 17th; CORY'S SHEARWATERS July 16th and 18th, with a peak count of 5 on the 16th; GREATER SHEARWATERS July 16th to 19th, peak of 3 on the 16th; one SOOTY SHEARWATER July 16th through 19th; WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS almost daily, with a peak of 15 on the 19th; a ROSEATE TERN and a BLACK TERN on July 20th; and a BLACK TERN, SANDWICH TERN, and a PARASITIC JAEGER on July 18th. Many of these birds are also being seen from boats just offshore, including the Cape May Whale Watching trips.

Stone Harbor Point continues to be loaded with birds this summer. Recent noteworthy finds include a ROSEATE TERN, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and 3 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS on July 20th, a BLACK TERN on the 18th, and an immature NORTHERN GANNET standing in the middle of the nesting colony of BLACK SKIMMERS on July 19th.

One COMMON EIDER, one SURF SCOTER, and 5 to 6 BLACK SCOTERS continue to spend summer off Cape May Point, our most recent report being from July 22nd.

The numbers of fall migrants around Cape May are building rapidly. A shorebird tally at Stone Harbor Point on July 15th yielded 400 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS and 200 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, along with many others. Southbound songbirds seen at or near the Higbee Dike during the last few days have included PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, BOBOLINK, and daily double-figures of YELLOW WARBLERS.

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. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, or go to New Jersey Audubon's web site at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding 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 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. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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