Saturday, March 1, 2014

Week in review: 22 – 28 February, 2014

CMBO is pleased to provide weekly summaries of the Cape's birding highlights. Coverage is limited to sightings in Cape May County. Readers should keep in mind that some reports may not be confirmed. The vast majority of information utilized in these reports comes from eBird data and "Keekeekerr" text alerts. Reports and photos that may be of use for weekly summaries can be emailed to compiler Tom Reed (coturnicops at gmail dot com).

Weather: It was a fairly quiet week. The period opened with mild temperatures, courtesy of short-lived southerly flow. High temperatures ranged well into the 50s on 22–23 Feb under ample sunshine. Seasonably cool temperatures returned 24–27 Feb, before another cold blast dropped daytimes highs into the 20s on 28 Feb.

Birding Summary: Observers submitted sightings of 149 species to eBird during the period 22–28 Feb. The best diversity day occurred on 22 Feb, when 123 species were reported. The 2014 cumulative county list currently stands at 184 species. Notable birds this week included Black-headed Gull, Snowy Owl, Black-capped Chickadee, and Painted Bunting.

Location Abbreviations: CMP (Cape May Point), CMPSP (Cape May Pt. State Park), SCMM (South Cape May Meadows), SHPt (Stone Harbor Point).

       The Tundra Swan duo at CMPSP/SCMM continued through 28 Feb (m. ob.), while two male Eurasian Wigeons remained along Ocean Drive near the Bree-Zee-Lee Yacht Basin through at least 25 Feb (SG). Canvasback was noted at Davies Sports Complex in Cape May Court House 22–24 Feb (MiC, MeC et al.). The two female King Eiders joined five Common Eiders in Hereford Inlet (viewable from North Wildwood) 23 Feb (AK). Three Red-necked Grebes continued along Ocean Drive in the area of Cape May Harbor through at least 25 Feb (SG). At least one American Bittern lingered at SHPt until 27 Feb (DA). A Rough-legged Hawk was noted again at Jake's Landing 28 Feb (MF). 

     A wintering Semipalmated Plover was viewed from the "free bridge" at Nummy Island 23 Feb (MiC, MeC). A Lesser Yellowlegs at the pond along Reed's Beach Rd 23 Feb was possibly an early migrant (KL). Otherwise, shorebird numbers and diversity remained poor. One or two Black-headed Gulls continued to be reported from the lower Delaware Bay coastline, most recently at the Ferry Terminal/Douglass Rotary Park 27 Feb (KL). A record-early Laughing Gull entertained observers at the same location 25 Feb (BB, m. ob.). Jake's Landing continued to host multiple Short-eared Owls (m. ob.), while Snowy Owls were reported from the beach at CMPSP 22 Feb (GD) and at SHPt 27 Feb (DA).

       Red-headed Woodpecker remains largely absent this winter, though one was seen again at TNC's Lizard Tail Swamp Preserve 28 Feb (KH).  The spring's first Tree Swallows appeared at several locations 22 Feb (v. ob.). Cape May County's fourth Black-capped Chickadee was still attending a feeder along Lincoln Ave, CMP through 25 Feb (MP). The Painted Bunting of CMP recently moved to the bird feeders at CMBO's Northwood Center, where it was last reported 27 Feb (m. ob.).


Deidre Asbjorn (DA), Bill Boyle (BB), Megan Crewe (MeC), Mike Crewe (MiC), Glen Davis (GD), Mike Fritz (MF), Sam Galick (SG), Kathy Horn (KH), Andy Keister (AK), Karl Lukens (KL), Mike Pasquarello (MP)

eBird. 2012. eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available:
Fogg, B. 2013. Keekeekerr: Recent Text Alerts. Available: