Monday, February 13, 2006

Western New Jersey - February 11th

This weekend I made a few stops in Western New Jersey. First up was Round Valley Reservoir for the pair of Red-Necked Grebes. Afterwards I visited Merrill Creek Reservoir where there were approximately 40,000 Snow Geese !! Also seen here were 4 Redheads (as in ducks!), 3 Pied-Billed Grebes, Common Goldeneye & a pair of nesting Bald Eagles. Some Eastern Bluebirds were seen on the ride in. My last stop this day was Oberly Road in the Alpha Grassands area. I saw, and heard, several Horned Larks but could not locate any Longspurs nor Snow Buntings. A Northern Harrier was coursing the fields in search of prey. Numerous Savannah Sparrows were about, and to my surprise I also observed a Vesper Sparrow. This central US bird appears in NJ during migration, and rarely over-winter in the State. I had fine looks at the bird thru my scope at very close range, and saw the outer white tail-feathers on the occasions that the bird took flight.