Friday, May 8, 2009


Hotline: Cape May Birding Hotline
To Report: call (609) 884-2736, or email sightings at
Coverage: Cape May, Cumberland and southern Atlantic Counties , NJ
Compilers: Don Freiday and Marleen Murgitroyde, Cape May Bird Observatory
URL: ;

This is the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This week's message was prepared on Friday, May 8, 2009.

Rather than a conventional hotline, this week we feature news on many birds relevant to the World Series of Birding on May 9. We remind all teams to respect private property, drive safely, and wish all the best of luck.

For more info, visit (Recent Sightings); Twitter - CMBOBirds; and

Legend: SCCM - The Nature Conservancy Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (aka South Cape May Meadows); CGP (Coast Guard Ponds along Ocean Drive between Cape May & Wildwood Crest (WWC); 2 Mi (Two Mile Restaurant off Ocean Drive)

All sightings below without dates are from the past week.

SNOW GOOSE - 2 pond on Rte 9 at CM County Park/ Zoo entrance; 5 at Forsythe, 5 at Featherbed (Salem)
WOOD DUCK - scattered; Cove Pool (Mt. Vernon)
GADWALL - CGP, Heislerville, SCCM, Forsythe, Bunker Pond, Cove Pool (Mt Vernon),
NORTHERN PINTAIL - dozen at Forsythe; 5 CGP closest to WWC
SCAUP - Forsythe (3 Greater; 5 Lesser)
SURF SCOTER - 20 Reeds on 5/7
BLACK SCOTER - off shore Cape May Point
BUFFLEHEAD - Stone Harbor; Forsythe, Shellbay, 2 Mi
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER - Shellbay; Sunset Lake WWC, Reeds, Heislerville
HOODED MERGANSER - Pond at 4065 Bayshore Rd (S of Canal)
RUDDY DUCK - Forsythe, Stimpson Island at end on 5/5
NORTHERN BOBWHITE - Hidden Valley first field back end 5:10 AM today 5/8; James Moore Rd (Cumberland), Beaver Swamp; Forsythe
COMMON LOON- 2 Mi, Sunset Lake WWC
GREAT BLUE HERON - Nummy, Jakes, Willow Pond (Beanery)
CATTLE EGRET - avg 7 around Stevens St, Bayshore Rd., Willow Pond (Beanery); Eastern Shore Nursing Home Rt 9 opposite Avalon Golf Course
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON - Bayside at the end of 37th St in Avalon; Nummy,; Beanery
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Adult) - Beaver Swamp Rd (7 PM 5/7)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE - continues around Beanery, Seagrove Ave., Stevens St., Magnesite Plant, Hawkwatch
BALD EAGLE - Beaver Swamp with young on nest
NORTHERN HARRIER - Jakes, 2 Mi (Male), Sunset Lake WWC, Tuckahoe, Bunker Pond, Magnesite Plant
AMERICAN KESTREL - 5 James Moore (Cumberland), Robbinstown Rd, Cape May & Woodbine Airport
PEREGRINE FALCON - Forsythe, Thompson Beach - check snags around box, Stone Harbor Blvd/Nummy
BLACK RAIL - Jakes Landing, though not reported
KING RAIL - Tuckahoe Rd at NW end dikes (not heard in several days)
VIRGINIA RAIL - Cape May Point State Park dog leg at red trail; couple at Jakes
COMMON MOORHEN - 3 SCMM east path near beach; 1 west of west path
AMERICAN COOT - 1 SCMM, Heislerville
BLACK-NECKED STILT - continues at SCCM west path on right of Plover Pond; may be hard to see
WHIMBREL - Stone Harbor, Nummy, 2 Mi
MARBLED GODWIT - 2 Mi - usual spot Thorofare Island (look diagonally left over railing)
RED KNOT - Reeds Beach (a few); Nummy, Stone Harbor, 2 Mi, Cook's Beach
PECTORAL SANDPIPER - 2 at 2 Mi, 3 Robbinstown Rd.
PURPLE SANDPIPER - Sea Isle; 6 at Concrete Ship (look from Alexander not Sunset Blvd.), Reeds Beach (late in day)
STILT SANDPIPE - 2 Mi near Marbled Godwit spot
WILSON'S SNIPE - Cove Pool (Mt. Vernon)
PARASITIC JAEGER - daily; scan off Cape May Point
LITTLE GULL - Florida Ave/Miami Ave (Villas)
BONAPARTE'S GULL - 3 Reeds Beach, CM Ferry terminal (Jetty end of Higbee), 19 Cooks Beach
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL - 3rd cycle around Cape May - SCMM Gull Pond (east path)
GULL-BILLED TERN - Beaver Swamp, Forsythe, 1 SCMM
CASPIAN TERN - Forsythe (5/4)
BLACK TERN - SCMM Gull Pond (east path) - not recently
BLACK SKIMMER - Forsythe, Heislerville, fly-by SCMM
CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW - Hidden Valley, Jakes
WHIP-POOR-WILL - Jakes, Belleplain (near Field Office)
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD - feeders at CMBO Goshen, Alexander Ave (CM Point), 152 Stevens; Belleplain
BELTED KINGFISHER - Cove Pool (Mt Vernon), Lake Lily (CMBO Northwood), Heislerville
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER - 2 Cape May Point State Park (red trail); Villas WMA (Ponderlodge), Ackley Rd (Dividiing Creek), on fence post between 47 & 50th St along Dune Drive Avalon. Pair at Tamerlane Camp Ground, Rt 9/Walnut St.- Oceanville (You must stop at the campground office and get permission before entering this campground. Thank them for allowing access & obey posted speed limit - 5 mph)
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER - Villas WMA (near parking area)
HAIRY WOODPECKER - Sunset Bridge Belleplain, Villas WMA, Beanery
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER - Belleplain (Sunset Bridge area)
WILLOW FLYCATCHER - Higbee tower field 5/8/09
BLUE-THROATED VIREO - Cape May Point State Park Red Trail, Villas WMA
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO - Weatherby Rd (power line cut)
HORNED LARK - Cape May County & Millville & Woodbine Airports, Stevens St., SCMM
BANK SWALLOW Mauricetown to Dividing Creek Rd just past Haleyville Rd - late house (private property - do not trespass)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH - CMBO Northwood, Cape May Point State Park Red Trail
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET - Cape May Point State Park
EASTERN BLUEBIRD - Villas WMA, Belleplain, James Moore, Millville Airport, Tyler Rd,
AMERICAN PIPIT - Rt 47 Sod Farm (Paper Mill Rd - Pg 72 B4 in DeLorme)
CEDAR WAXWING - Cape May Post Office, Avalon Campground
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER - Head of River Rd (near Peaslee WMA), Beanery (along train tracks)
KENTUCKY WARBLER - Mauricetown near US Silica sign (Noble St); Snow Hill Rd (Cumberland); Pine Swamp Rd (Belleplain)
SUMMER TANAGER - Belleplain: Sunset Rd (private property), Franks Rd (1/10th mi from Sunset, Pine Swamp Rd (near Sunset); Tracks at Rt 555; Weatherby Rd (RR tracks)
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW - Millville Airport (Buckshutem Rd past Motor Sport Complex; take left & STOP - retention basin - do not flush)
SALT -MARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROW - BreeZee Lee Marina (Ocean Drive); 2 Mi, Jakes, Turkey Point, Forsythe
SEASIDE SPARROW - Cooks & Reeds Beach, Goshen Landing Rd.,
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW - CMBO Northwood (at back feeder)
BLUE GROSBEAK - Higbee 1st field, Beanery, Hidden Valley
BOBOLINK - New England Rd; SCMM, Wilson Ave, Sumner Rd (Woodbine)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK - end of Jakes Landing - scan across channel; across the road from CMBO Goshen - listen from parking lot (do not go on property)


Cape May / Nummy 852 A 236 P
Reeds Beach 948 A 403 P
Heislerville 1109 A 458 P
Forsythe 1008 A 437 P

Simon Lane provided the following important information about Great Swamp NWR:
"Very High Water levels everywhere. After entering the Harding Gate and passing the 'Tower' ponds, the first spillway is 6ins deep in water. Coming out to Pleasant Plains in either direction is good. The track along the river on the L at the closed bridge on Pleasant Plains is very muddy and has water over-flowing 6ins+ deep. Don't even think about driving the track a little further back on the R before the bridge. The road between pools 3 and 3A down to the T at the river is fine, and you can turn at the T. The loop road around the river on the L is not passable to most vehicles. Water on the spillway is about a foot deep, and in my high 4WD, I almost regretted it! You cannot do a K turn at any point along this loop coming at it from ether direction, from either the T or the woods. Be warned, people get stuck every year, and I'm sure will do so tonight - no-one else wants to be trapped behind!! The overlook is pretty good this year. Good Luck - Simon Lane"
Chatham NJ


******Due to a staffing shortfall, Cape May Bird Observatory’s Center for Research and Education on Route 47 north of Goshen will be closed to the public effective April 11, 2009. The grounds and gardens will remain open to the public. CMBO’s Northwood Center on East Lake Drive in Cape May Point is open daily, 9:30am to 4:30pm.******

CMBO is offering a special to new and upgraded membership renewals. Join CMBO for the first time or upgrade from Individual or Family to The Hundred and receive Charley Harper's Migration Mainline- Cape May lithograph poster, valued at $50. Call either CMBO center to ask an associate about joining today!

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are made weekly. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736.

Sponsorship for this hotline comes from the support of CMBO members and business members, and should you not be a member, we cordially invite you to join. Individual membership is $39 per year; $49 for families. You can call either center to become a member or visit. Become a member in person and you'll receive a FREE gift (in addition to member discounts in the stores).

Good luck and good birding!

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