Hotline: Cape May Birding Hotline
To Report: call: (609) 884-2736 or email: coturnicops AT gmail DOT com
Coverage: Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic Counties, NJ
Compiler: Tom Reed
This is the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory. This week's message was prepared on Thursday, August 16, 2012. Included this week are sightings of TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, OSPREY, MISSISSIPPI KITE, BALD EAGLE, BROAD-WINGED HAWK, PIPING PLOVER, AMERICAN AVOCET, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, BLACK TERN, SANDWICH TERN, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, AMERICAN KESTREL, BANK SWALLOW, BARN SWALLOW, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, MOURNING WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, WILSON'S WARBLER, and DICKCISSEL.
This week's standout bird was a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, discovered at Brig/Forsythe NWR on 8/13, along Lily Lake Road and just east of the Noyes Museum. The bird was only in view for about 10 minutes and has not been seen again. Other highlights from "Brig" this week included the continuing BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK through 8/16, HUDSONIAN GODWIT on 8/16, and AMERICAN AVOCET on 8/12.
A MISSISSIPPI KITE was briefly viewed over the South Cape May Meadows on 8/16 during a small early-season hawk flight that also included multiple AMERICAN KESTRELS, BROAD-WINGED HAWKS, OSPREY and BALD EAGLES.
A nice songbird flight also occurred on the morning of 8/16, with the following highlights tallied from the "dike" at Higbee Beach WMA: 313 BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS (apparently a new single-day mark), 240 EASTERN KINGBIRDS, 178 AMERICAN REDSTARTS, 2 early YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 2 LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES and a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER. Two MOURNING WARBLERS could be found in the fields at Higbee Beach WMA on 8/16, and another was at CMBO's Northwood Center on 8/15. A GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, 3 MOURNING WARBLERS, 2 WILSON'S WARBLERS and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were present in the Higbee fields on 8/13, while a DICKCISSEL was seen over Cape May Point State Park on 8/12.
Over 1,200 BARN SWALLOWS and about 50 BANK SWALLOWS were tallied moving past the dunes at Cape May Point State Park on 8/16. Large numbers of PURPLE MARTINS continue to stage along the Maurice River near Mauricetown (Cumberland County).
A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER visited the beach in front of the South Cape May Meadows/Cape May Point State Park on 8/16. 23 PIPING PLOVERS were present at Stone Harbor Point on 8/12, and 2 MARBLED GODWITS were seen at Nummy Island on 8/13.
BLACK TERN numbers increased this week, with a high of 17 from Higbee Beach WMA on 8/16, plus additional sightings from Cape May Point, Stone Harbor, Brig/Forsythe NWR, and perhaps most notably, 4 inland birds over the Villas, also on 8/16. A SANDWICH TERN was seen in Bunker Pond at Cape May Point State Park on 8/16.
Seawatching hasn't been overly productive recently, but a WILSON'S STORM-PETREL was seen from the Coral Ave dune crossover in Cape May Point on 8/14. Cape May Point's EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES also remain, with most reports continuing to come from the area of Yale, Whildin and Harvard Avenues.
**CMBO's Northwood Center will be CLOSED for inventory on Monday, August 27 and Tuesday, August 28.
**CMBO'S Center for Research & Education will be CLOSED for inventory on Thursday, August 30 and Friday, August 31.
Regular summer hours for CMBO's centers are as follows--
Northwood Center: Open 9:30am-4:30pm, Wednesday-Monday; closed Tuesday.
Center for Research & Education: Open 9:30am-4:30pm, Tuesday-Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday.
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!