Birders are encouraged to enter their sightings into eBird to participate in a Cornell University's citizen science project that has caught on with many local birders. For more information on eBird and how to sign up click here:
Some recent developments at eBird right now:
This week's message was prepared on Thursday, October 13th, 2011. Highlights this week include sightings of AMERICAN AVOCET, AMERICAN BITTERN, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, AMERICAN WIGEON, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, BLACK SKIMMER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, BROWN PELICAN, CACKLING GOOSE, CANADA GOOSE, CAPE MAY WARBLER, CASPIAN TERN, CATTLE EGRET, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, COMMON EIDER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, GREAT SHEARWATER, CORY'S SHEARWATER, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, EURASIAN WIGEON, GOLDEN EAGLE, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, LAUGHING GULL, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, LONG-EARED OWL, MARBLED GODWIT, NELSON'S SPARROW, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, PARASITIC JAEGER, PIED-BILLED GREBE, PINE SISKIN, POMARINE JAEGER, PURPLE FINCH, RED KNOT, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, REDHEAD, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, RING-NECKED DUCK, RUDDY DUCK, SEASIDE SPARROW, UPLAND SANDPIPER, VESPER SPARROW, VIRGINIA RAIL, WESTERN SANDPIPER, "WESTERN" WILLET, WILSON'S SNIPE, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD.
We'll be breaking the RBA down by day, and county. Here we go!
Cape May County:
The only photo to surface of the Oct. 3rd BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER found at the North end of Davies Lake- Higbees Beach WMA seems to show a different individual from the first BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (1) (2) at Higbees Beach WMA on Sep. 29th. An unusually confiding late UPLAND SANDPIPER (1) (2) has been seen off and on for a week; the last day it was reported was Oct. 6th.
A LONG-EARED OWL was recorded flying around Cape May Point. Highlights from the dike at Higbees Beach WMA included AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER (1), and AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (1) (2) (eBird Checklist). The first RING-NECKED DUCK of the season was a drake seen on Lighthouse Pond at Cape May Point State Park in the afternoon. Highlights from the Avalon Seawatch included COMMON EIDER (1), and REDHEAD (eBird Checklist). RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and PINE SISKINS were noted at Cape May Point.
A leucistic LAUGHING GULL has been seen around Cape May off and on for the past couple of months. Please be on the look out for this bird, careful observation should be taken with any "white-winged" gulls- even careful observers have mistaken this bird as a poor look at a distant Iceland Gull. The BROWN BOOBY seen nearly everyday since August 20th was seen again in Jarvis Sound on board the Osprey (eBird Checklist). The Avalon Seawatch had a small push of 27 BROWN PELICANS and three COMMON EIDERS (eBird Checklist).
eBird Checklists: Cape May Meadows, Corson's Inlet SP, The Beanery, Higbees Beach WMA, Higbee Dike, Eastern Shore Nursing Home, Lily Lake, Cape May Point State Park (1) (2) (3), Cape May Point (1) (2),
Team EXIT HERO (team/bird photos (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) ) conducted it's Big Sit organized by Birdwatcher's Digest on the hawkwatch platform at Cape May Point State Park. The count was covered for a full 24 hours for the first time. 117 species were tallied with highlights of two EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES flying by the lighthouse and a CACKLING GOOSE (1) in a CANADA GOOSE flock that later landed at Lily Lake and the Beanery. News came in later of a female EURASIAN WIGEON (1) was amongst the AMERICAN WIGEONS at Lighthouse Pond. It was never seen from the hawkwatch platform nor counted on the Big Sit despite large waterfowl groups moving in and out of Bunker Pond all day. A juv. RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was a highlight during a trip to the Villas WMA (eBird Checklist). A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen at the Beanery (eBird Checklist). A CATTLE EGRET was seen at the Shunpike pond. Almost 3,000 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, 31 BROWN PELICANS, three PARASITIC JAEGERS were tallied at the Avalon Seawatch (eBird Checklist).
The new local group of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES have grown from three to four birds, seen flying by the Coral Ave. dune crossing at Cape May Point (eBird Checklist). If they decide to live here through the winter, New Jersey could have it's first breeding record of this rapidly expanding species next year. The season's first GOLDEN EAGLE (juv.) of the fall was first found on Steven's Street and later counted at the hawkwatch platform (eBird Checklist). A Morning Flight update on the Seasonal Research tab of birdcapemay.org has a good photo update on what's been flying by including a couple good tips on BAY-BREASTED WARBLER identification. An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was photographed at the Cape May Meadows. A PURPLE FINCH was seen briefly along New England Road. The Avalon Seawatch continued it's streak of 24 BROWN PELICANS winging-it South (eBird Checklist).
The four EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES are still flying past Coral Ave. dune crossing in the morning at Cape May Point; closer observation showed that at least three had retained old outer primaries (eBird Checklist). A Stone Harbor Point trip was highlighted with two AMERICAN AVOCETS at the base of toll bridge on bay side (eBird Checklist). A private pelagic trip tallied three CORY'S SHEARWATERS, seven GREAT SHEARWATERS and a POMARINE JAEGER, along with some interesting landbirds- A CAPE MAY WARBLER and three PURPLE FINCHES (eBird Checklist). And yet another photo update on birdcapemay.org.The Avalon Seawatch was in full gear with the first day of multi-thousand count of scoters flying past with a couple hundred GREEN-WINGED TEAL mixed in. With 33 more BROWN PELICANS the Seawatch's total for 2011 passes 200 (eBird Checklist).
Cedars next to the hawkwatch had 14 species of warblers including an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (CMBO Blogpost). Two EURASIAN WIGEONS were at Lighthouse Pond with a NELSON'S SPARROW seen along the boardwalk there. Another Ammodramus- this time a SEASIDE SPARROW, rarely seen outside of a saltmarsh, was found at the South end of Lily Lake. The probable same CATTLE EGRET found on the 9th was seen at the Cape May Meadows along with a WILSON'S SNIPE and a calling VIRGINIA RAIL. The Avalon Seawatch continues to put on a good show with all three scoters represented (CMBO Blogpost).
eBird Checklists: Cape Island
The popular CATTLE EGRET was seen on the railing in Bunker Pond at Cape May Point State Park. A VESPER SPARROW was seen on the East path of the Cape May Meadows along with an AMERICAN BITTERN. Around 60 "WESTERN" WILLETS were seen at Nummy's Island (eBird Checklist). PARASITIC JAEGERS are increasing daily at the Avalon Seawatch (CMBO Blogpost).
eBird Checklists: Berrytown Road
eBird Checklists: East Point Road
eBird Checklists: Brigantine NWR
Migrants noted at night in Atlantic City include COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, and a VIRGINIA RAIL. A WHITE-FACED IBIS was reported from Brigantine NWR.
Shorebirds noted behind Harrah's included several flocks of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 100+ RED KNOT, and an adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER. Brigantine Island had 42 MARBLED GODWITS, 180+ "WESTERN" WILLETS, one LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, and 400+ BLACK SKIMMER.
Brigantine had the following highlights: EURASIAN WIGEON, (center of East pool) 1000+ GREEN-WINGED TEAL, a drake REDHEAD, (center of East pool) six RUDDY DUCKS, four PIED-BILLED GREBES, AMERICAN BITTERN, (ten feet away at the North end of the Gull Pond) AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, four CASPIAN TERNS, LINCOLN'S SPARROW (by the AMERICAN BITTERN) and a female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD. (East dike in a large flock of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS just North of the South dike)
eBird Checklists: Brigantine NWR
eBird Checklists: Brigantine NWR
-For up-to-the-minute Cape May sightings information, photos and downloadable birding maps and checklist of Cape May, visit www.birdcapemay.org . Follow rarity sightings, and spectacles on www.twitter.com/CMBObirds -
******CMBO FALL HOURS are as follows: Northwood Center on East Lake Drive in Cape May Point is open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, through September and October. The Center for Research and Education on Rt. 47 in Goshen is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30am to 4:30pm; closed Sundays and Mondays. ******
The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the New Jersey Audubon'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!
Cape May, NJ