On this day in 1971, an Anhinga was seen at Cape May by K. Berlin, B. Baumann and others. The bird was soaring with Broad-winged Hawks, an unusual sight in NJ but not so out of the ordinary in places like Hazel Bazemore Hawkwatch in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Many first state records set a pattern which is reinforced by later records of the species. Not so Anhinga. The first record was a fall bird, but it took until 2005 to get another fall record of the species. That makes two fall records out of 13 total Anhinga records, so far. An oddity is a dead Anhinga found 16 January 1989 in Whiting, Ocean County. The spring records range from 24 April to 27 June, with five in May.
Anhingas are notorious for being fly-over birds that can never be relocated. These fly-overs usually leave little time for observation, which raises the odds for misidentification. A fly-over bird usually can't be independently confirmed by other birders, either, which adds to the frustration. Some species have a reputation for being "one-day wonders" but Anhingas might be "five-minute wonders." Jersey birders who've done time in Florida might be particularly frustrated, since Anhingas are so cooperative down there.