Saturday, August 16, 2014

Week in review: 9 – 15 August, 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/Explanations: CMP (town of Cape May Point); CMPSP (Cape May Pt. State Park); HB (Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area); Higbee Dike (dredge spoils at northwest corner of Cape Island, site of CMBO's Morning Flight count); SCMM (South Cape May Meadows); SHPt (Stone Harbor Point).


       Approximately 100 Black Scoters, and at least 2 Surf Scoters, continued their stay at CMP through the period (m. ob.). Wilson's Storm-Petrel reports continued to diminish, but a handful were seen during ferry crossings (m. ob.). The fall's first Green-winged Teal appeared at CMPSP 14 Aug (TR). A juvenile White Ibis was seen at the Cox Hall Creek marsh, along Clubhouse Drive in Town Bank, 12 Aug (TM, m. ob.). There have been no reports since. Westerly winds brought a Broad-winged Hawk over SCMM 15 Aug (VE). The season's 7th American Avocet was found at SCMM 14 Aug and continued through 15 Aug (RT, m. ob.). An Upland Sandpiper made for a surprising sight on the west path of SCMM 15 Aug (VE). A strong movement of shorebirds followed heavy rain associated with a cold frontal passage 13 Aug. This flight was easiest to observe at Cape Island, where 550 Lesser Yellowlegs and 120 Stilt Sandpipers flew south past SCMM during the AM hours (MO'B, m. ob.). Multiple American Golden-Plovers were noted after the storm at Cape May Airport 13 Aug (JN, BB), and 2 were seen over West Cape May 14 Aug (MO'B). Several observers sent along reports of White-rumped Sandpiper in recent days, including multiple sightings at SCMM. Mid-August can be a good time to find Marbled Godwit-- a group of 4 dropped in at SHPt 13 Aug (EH). SHPt was also home to 600 Sanderlings and 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls 14 Aug (m. ob.). Black Terns became more obvious during the second half of the period, with sightings logged at SHPt, SCMM, and CMP (m. ob.). The SCMM beachfront was home to a pair of Sandwich Terns 15 Aug (VE). 

Louisiana Waterthrush - New 
[Louisiana Waterthrush flying past the Higbee Dike, 14 Aug. Photo by Tom Johnson.]

       A White-winged Dove put in a brief appearance at SCMM 11 Aug (m. ob.). It was last seen flying off toward West Cape May and has not been reported again. CMP's Eurasian Collared-Dove was last noticed near the corner of Lehigh & Lincoln Avenues 14 Aug (EO). Single Olive-sided Flycatchers were noted at HB (MeC, MiC) and CMPSP (m. ob.) 14 Aug. The season's first big push of songbird migrants arrived 14–15 Aug, on the heels of the cold front. Observers stationed atop the Higbee Dike tallied ~400 Eastern Kingbirds, 5 Louisiana Waterthrushes, 190 Northern Waterthrushes, 625 American Redstarts, 2 Cerulean Warblers, 365 Yellow Warblers, and 380 Bobolinks on the move during the early-morning hours 14 Aug (TJ, MG). Passerine arrivals at Cape Island included Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 10 Aug (MJ), Bay-breasted Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler 14 Aug (m. ob.), and Alder Flycatcher 15 Aug (NP). Other notables included a Golden-winged Warbler at HB 15 Aug (CB, m. ob.) and a Mourning Warbler at SCMM the same day (TR). Lastly, an adult Lark Sparrow was a splendid find at the Rea Farm/Beanery 9 Aug (m. ob.). 


Bill Boyle (BB), Catherine Busch (CB), Megan Crewe (MeC), Mike Crewe (MiC), Vince Elia (VE), Matt Garvey (MG), Emily Heiser (EH), Matt Jewel (MJ), Tom Johnson (TJ), Tom McParland (TM), Josh Nemeth (JN), Michael O'Brien (MO'B), Emelia Oleson (EO), Nick Pulcinella (NP), Tom Reed (TR), Robert Templeton (RT).


*eBird. 2012. eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Accessed 15 Aug 2014. Available:
*Fogg, B. 2013. Keekeekerr: Recent Text Alerts. Accessed 15 Aug 2014. Available: