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
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, October 4, 2012. Included this week are sightings of COMMON EIDER, EARED GREBE, BLACK-CAPPED PETREL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, COMMON GALLINULE, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, AMERICAN AVOCET, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, BONAPARTE'S GULL, PARASITIC JAEGER, EURASIAN
COLLARED-DOVE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, BELTED KINGFISHER, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, RED-BREASTED
NUTHATCH, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, MOURNING WARBLER, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, WILSON'S WARBLER, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, LARK SPARROW, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, SUMMER TANAGER, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, and PINE SISKIN.
A SAY'S PHOEBE* entertained dozens of birders on 9/30 at Cape May Point State Park. The bird spent most of its time in the area of the first "plover pond" and the brush pile, just east of Bunker Pond. It has not been reported since. This individual represents the 6th record of the species on Cape Island.
A BLACK-CAPPED PETREL* was photographed from a fishing boat approximately 80 miles offshore of Cape May on 9/28, presumably in New Jersey waters. This would represent only the 4th state record.
An EARED GREBE* was photographed from a boat in Ocean City on 9/30, in the back bay near 13th Street. It has not been reported since, despite the efforts of several birders.
The season's first western hummer arrived this week. A RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD* was discovered at 152 Stevens Street, West Cape May on 10/1 and continued through 10/4. Birders are welcome to look for the bird from the street-- feeders will be clearly visible.
Excellent anytime in Cape May County, a YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was seen at the Ocean City Preserve (between 26th and 28th Streets) on 9/29.
Passerines were frequently in the news this week, with three straight days of quadruple-digit flights past the Higbee Dike between 9/29 and 10/1. Highlights from the dike were many, and included: 1,068+ BLACKPOLL WARBLERS (9/29), 7 CONNECTICUT WARBLERS and 1 MOURNING WARBLER (9/30), YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (9/30) and CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (9/30 & 10/1).
Observers at ground level also enjoyed a good amount of songbird success this week. A LARK SPARROW was discovered near the yellow trail bridge at Cape May Point State Park on 10/3. A "yellow-bellied" kingbird, most likely a Western Kingbird, was seen flying past the State Park plover ponds on 10/2. A late OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was discovered near the pond at the intersection of Shunpike Rd and Stimpson Ln in West Cape May on 10/2.
The Higbee fields offered up the season's first ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS on 9/29, while SUMMER TANAGER, WILSON'S WARBLER, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER and at least 2 CONNECTICUT WARBLERS were also seen there that day. RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were reported from Higbee multiple times this week, and from the Cape May Hawk Watch on 10/2.
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES continued to clutter Cape May this week, along with increasing numbers of PINE SISKINS (32 and 29 flew north past the Higbee Dike on 10/1 & 10/2, respectively).
Birding was good at the Cape May Hawk Watch this week. A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was tallied on 9/30, and a stunning flight of 94 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS also occurred that day. An impressive 25+ BELTED KINGFISHERS migrated past the watch on 9/29, and a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW fed in front of the Hawk Watch on 10/4. At least 1 COMMON GALLINULE continued on Bunker Pond in recent days, and the season's first BONAPARTE'S GULL was seen there on 10/2.
Multiple PARASITIC JAEGERS continued to terrorize gulls and terns in "the rips" off Cape May Point on a daily basis this week. Also over the ocean, a flock of 10 COMMON EIDERS flew past the Avalon Seawatch on 10/2.
Shorebird news has become scarce, but an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER flew past the Hawk Watch on 10/3, while a WILSON'S PHALAROPE was near the north dike "dogleg" at Brig/Forsythe NWR (Atlantic Co.) the same day. Two AMERICAN AVOCETS were reported from the Northwest Pool at Brig/Forsythe on 9/29.
Finally, Cape May Point's resident EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES
continued to show regularly in the area of Lincoln, Whildin and Harvard
* - denotes a Review List species in New Jersey, as designated by the New Jersey Bird Records Committee (NJBRC). Observers are strongly encouraged to submit documentation of such species to the Committee. Details should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!