Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September 15 - Philly Vireo

I made a quick stop at Garret Mountain today and ran into friend Bill E. and the first thing I did was to thank him for telling me about the Connecticut Warbler from yesterday.  A little while later I thanked him again as he spotted a Philly Vireo up near the Tower.
Later at the spot where we had the Chats this past Saturday, I re-found the Philadelphia Vireo and had great long looks at the bird.  Perhaps it was the same one that we saw earlier...

There wasn't much else around so I headed off to work after an hour or so.

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14 - Connecticut Warbler

Earlier today my friend Bill had found a pair of Connecticut Warblers at Garret Mountain in the 'Wet Area' that is at the north end of Barbour's Pond.  
As I've had very good luck in the past with Connecticut's in this spot, specifically after work, I tried for the birds this afternoon.  Almost immediately I was able to get onto one of the birds, and that was a relief since I had missed this species last fall.
A very productive 15-minute stop !!

Credit: Bill Elrick

Click to enlarge

Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 12 - Yellow-Breasted Chats

I had only two hours free today before life's responsibilities had to be taken care of, so I headed over to Garret Mountain in hopes of seasonal target birds like Connecticut Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo, or Clay-colored Sparrow.

To my surprise Bill located a Chat, and then we saw a second Chat was there as well.  This is a tough bird to find in Northern NJ, and I had not yet seen this species this year.  The best part was that I had never seen this species at Garret Mountain at all in over 15 years birding here !!

Passaic County Life Bird # 231....

Saturday, September 05, 2015

September 5 - Brigantine specialties

I was happy to have the entire day free today so I made sure that I got to the Wildlife Drive at the Forsythe NWR at first light.

Today's specialties were:
The Buff-Breasted Sandpiper, of which there were 3 seen very well...
The Baird's Sandpiper that we saw at least 2 of...
The American Golden Plover, and two of these were present.

Other species that I enjoyed today were the Saltmarsh Sparrows, as well as the Seaside Sparrows...at the end of the day a pair of Marbled Godwits flew in for some good views.
We saw a late-ish Stilt Sandpiper and an early Dunlin, along with numerous White-Rumped Sandpipers, and a few Western Sandpipers.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

August 1 - De Korte Park

This morning I was undecided where to go, and ultimately headed to Richard W De Korte Park in Lyndhurst.  My primary target was Sora, a species that I had not seen well since September 2012.
While at De Korte, I saw the report of an American Avocet being seen at the nearby Saw Mill Creek impoundment and I was able to get very distant views of this bird before returning to my original pursuit.

Walking the Marsh Discovery Trail with friend Karen F. and acquaintance Jonathan R. we did get to see the Common Gallinule (a/k/a Common Moorhen).  Jonathan then spied a Least Bittern in flight that we all saw briefly.

Next we came across Chris T. who advised that the Sora had just been seen. Returning to the main Shorebird Pool that is opposite the parking lot, I was able to see the Sora, and then Jonathan and Karen were able to see this bird as well.

Later the American Avocet flew into the shorebird pool, and we were all able to get very good views of this bird now that it was much, much closer.  Here is a photo taken by Chris T.

click to enlarge

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 26 - Forsythe NWR

My friends and I took the 2-hour drive down to Edwin B. Forsythe NWR today.  This place is known locally as Brigantine, although it is not nearby Brigantine Island.

Our expectations were measured because of the reports that the water-level in the impoundments is quite high, all due to the federal officials testing the strength of the berms that were rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy.

The impoundments did not offer any good birds, so the birdwatching was done by looking at the tidal channels which are outside of the Wildlife Drive.  Nevertheless, there were nice looking birds to see...starting with adult Blue Grosbeaks along the road to the Gull Pond Tower.  It was a pleasure to see several Whimbrels, although I prefer calling them by their previous name of Hudsonian Curlew.
We saw several species of terns (Forsters, Caspian, Gull-Billed, Least, and a single Royal).

There were many Short-Billed Dowitchers and Semi-Palmated Sandpipers, with a few Least Sandpipers mixed in. We did not spot a Western Sandpiper today, although some have been recently reported.

We did get good looks at Seaside Sparrows, and a couple of the Saltmarsh Sparrows.  A Little Blue Heron was seen too.

Overall an average day at Brigantine.  The next few weeks should bring in some rarities, and these will be followed by large numbers of the common species.  Until next time !