Saturday, June 28, 2014

Week in review: 21 – 27 June, 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. Observers are encouraged to send reports and photos to compiler Tom Reed (coturnicops at gmail dot com).

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


       Cape May's summering scoters continued their stay, with at least 1 Surf and 70 Black Scoters still present around CMP through the week (m. ob.). White-winged Scoter is notable in late-June, and 2 were seen from the Wildwood Crest area 27 Jun (TN). At least one pair of Gadwall continued to occupy SCMM, though breeding has apparently not yet been confirmed this year (m. ob.). As per usual, there are a few Common Loons spending the summer locally-- reports this week included 2 offshore SCMM 21 Jun (TB, TG) and another near the north end of Ocean City the same day (RM). Yet another was northbound over SCMM 25 Jun (MiC). A whale-watching trip out of Cape May netted 2 Great Shearwaters and 16 Wilson's Storm-Petrels on 24 Jun (WC, DL, TR). Single Great Shearwaters were also seen from shore at Avalon 24 Jun (MeC, MiC) and at CMPSP 25 Jun (MiC et al.). At least 18 Wilson's Storm-Petrels were tallied from CMP 26 Jun (VE et al.), where the species was fairly reliable this week. Brown Pelican made its presence known on a daily basis, and reports included a high count of 18 at Sunset Beach on 24 Jun (JW). 

 [Brown Pelicans near Wildwood Crest, 24 Jun. Photo by Tom Reed.]

       There were no reports of Northern Harrier at Cape Island this week-- observers are encouraged to note any additional sightings of that species through the end of July. BSF was home to a Broad-winged Hawk 27 Jun (MO'B, LZ). Piping Plover continued to have an atrocious breeding season, with only 3 pairs active in the county as of 27 Jun (NJDFW). American Oystercatcher is faring a bit better on the barrier islands, with 25+ active pairs, many of which are at SHPt (NJDFW). A group of 4 Lesser Yellowlegs were apparently new arrivals at SCMM 27 Jun (m. ob.). At least 1 Whimbrel was seen between SHPt and Nummy Island this week (m. ob.). Lesser Black-backed Gull continued to be found on oceanfront beaches such as Avalon, SHPt, Wildwood Crest, SCMM, and Cape May Point (m. ob.). A trio of Gull-billed Terns appeared at CMPSP 22 Jun (MJ), where there hadn't been any recent sightings. Royal Tern became a daily sight in recent days, particularly at SHPt and Cape Island (m. ob.). A Red-headed Woodpecker was noted at The Nature Conservancy's Lizard Tail Swamp Preserve, a known breeding location, on 24 Jun (WK). Yellow-throated Vireo is a scarce breeding bird away from the Weatherby Rd. area in the far northern reaches of the county-- one remained on territory at BSF 27 Jun (MO'B, LZ). Other birds noted at BSF on 27 Jun included Summer Tanager, Acadian Flycatcher, Worm-eating Warbler, and Prothonotary Warbler (MO'B, LZ). 


Tom Baxter (TB), Warren Cairo (WC), Megan Crewe (MeC), Mike Crewe (MiC), Vince Elia (VE), Tom Gleason (TG), Matt Jewell (MJ), Will Kerling (WK), David Lord (DL), Robert Maurer (RM), NJDFW (New Jersey Divison of Fish & Wildlife staff), Tom Nolan (TN), Michael O'Brien (MO'B), Tom Reed (TR), Jim Waldie (JW), Louise Zemaitis (LZ).

eBird. 2012. eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Accessed 27 Jun 2014. Available:
Fogg, B. 2013. Keekeekerr: Recent Text Alerts. Accessed 27 Jun 2014. Available: