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).
WATERFOWL THROUGH TERNS
Dabbling duck densities and diversity increased during recent days. Totals at Cape Island 12 Sep included 14 Gadwall, 12 Northern Shovelers, 7 Northern Pintail, and 15 Blue-winged Teal (m. ob.). An early Greater Scaup was seen from the Higbee Dike 7 Sep (TR). A Great Cormorant was a bit early at Cold Spring Inlet 12 Sep (VE, BL). A nice total of 14 Brown Pelicans was notched from CMPSP during southerly winds 12 Sep (TR). The season's best hawk flight to date occurred 12 Sep, and included 160 Osprey, 68 Sharp-shinned Hawks, and 41 Bald Eagles at the Cape May Hawk Watch (MR). At least 1 Marbled Godwit was seen at Jarvis Sound 10 & 12 Sep (VE, BL). A Red-necked Phalarope was reported from Avalon during strong easterly winds 9 Sep (KG). Other shorebird highlights included a Baird's Sandpiper at SCMM 6–7 Sep (m. ob.), a Buff-breasted Sandpiper (m. ob.) and a Wilson's Phalarope (JN, DW) at SCMM 7–8 Sep, and a Long-billed Dowitcher at SCMM 7–9 Sep (m. ob.). An adult Little Gull put in a brief appearance at CMPSP 12 Sep (m. ob.). A WHISKERED TERN made for a shocking find at CMPSP 12 Sep (AH, LZ, m. ob.). This individual represents the 3rd record for North America-- amazingly, all 3 have occurred at Cape May. At least 2 Black Terns were seen at CMPSP through much of the period (m. ob.).
DOVES THROUGH SONGBIRDS
A White-winged Dove was found along New England Road 7 Sep (KG), and what was potentially the same individual flew past the Higbee Dike 8 Sep (TR). At least 2 Eurasian Collared-Doves continued at CMP through the week (m. ob.). The season's first Western Kingbirds were seen 8 Sep, when 2 flew over West Cape May (MO'B). A Kentucky Warbler made for a surprising sight at the Higbee Dike 10 Sep (KG, TR). A strong songbird flight at the Higbee Dike 12 Sep included 273 American Redstarts, 109 Northern Parulas, 66 Palm Warblers, 48 Black-throated Blue Warblers, 2 Bay-breasted Warblers, and a Prothonotary Warbler (GD). Other songbird highlights included 2 Golden-winged Warblers at HB 7 Sep (MO'B, LZ et al.) and a Lark Sparrow at CMPSP 7 Sep (TR).
Glen Davis (GD), Vince Elia (VE), Kevin Graff (KG), Alec Humann (AH), Bob Lubberman (BL), Josh Nemeth (JN), Michael O'Brien (MO'B), Mary Raikes (MR), Tom Reed (TR), Dustin Welch (DW), 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 14 Sep 2014. Available: http://www.ebird.org.*Fogg, B. 2013. Keekeekerr: Recent Text Alerts. Accessed 14 Sep 2014. Available: http://keekeekerr.com/textalerts/keekeekerr