Monday, June 25, 2007

June 23 - Clinton Road

Without much time to travel for birds today, I visited the local spot of Clinton Road. This area is known as the Pequannock Watershed, and is owned by the City of Newark. It is a fantastic place for breeding birds and at least 22-species of warbler are known to nest in this region.

Today my target was Barred Owl. I have not seen this bird in a few seasons, and the Watershed is home to several breeding pairs. Before the birds, I did find a medium-sized Black Bear in a tree about 15 feet off the ground. I was still in my car, so I stopped to give him a look. The bear was not happy with my presence and gave a loud grunt that voiced his displeasure. Soon after he scrambled down out of the tree and ran off into the woods.

I started at my favorite place, which is the area of P5. Right away I had Northern Waterthrush, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Blue-Winged Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher. Down the trail a bit I picked up Black-Throated Green and Blackburnian Warblers, and I heard a Red-Breasted Nuthatch. Soon after American Redstart made an appearance, and so did Hooded Warbler and Ovenbird. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher and Swamp Sparrow were singing, and I then saw a pair of Black-and-White warblers.

Later along the trail I flushed a Woodcock from a small wet area. This was a surprise to see this bird so far into the forest. A Wild Turkey and her young were seen as well. Overhead I could hear the call of Red-Shouldered Hawk, and later I got a glimpse of the bird.

A bit later, near the open pond, I came across another Black Bear. This one too ran away pretty quickly after we made eye-contact. On this day I saw more bears than people.

Later at P4, I got nice looks at Louisiana Waterthrush and Yellow-Throated Vireo. Common Ravens called overhead , and a male Scarlet Tanager put in a quick show. A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird hovered overhead, and the calls of Veery and Wood Thrush echoed nearly everywhere. The 'chink' call of Rose=Breasted Grosbeak was heard as well.
I then tried the north side of Clinton Road by the P4 parking area. This trail goes straight up the hillside, and once I got to the top I flushed a barrel-shaped, brownish-gray bird with a short tail and long, blunt shaped wings - a Barred Owl !