Friday, August 31, 2007

August 30 - Walker Avenue Wetlands

Back on terra-firma, I made a quick stop after work today at a local spillway for the Pequannock River. This large wetland area can be good for the migrant birds that already are heading south.

The birds seen here today were a beautifully-plumaged adult Little Blue Heron.
photo credit-unknown

Also seen were several Blue-Winged Teal, a Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer and other assorted ducks.

August 26 - Pelagic off New Jersey

Today I took a boat trip out of the Belmar Marina at 5 a.m. and into the waters of the Hudson Canyon. This canyon is about 5-hours offshore from New Jersey. It was all part of "pelagic" birding for seabirds that spend a majority of their lives far out at sea, and are rarely seen form land.

The good news was that the seas were quite calm, and we had a beautiful day for a boat ride.
Which means no one got seasick !
The unfortunate news is that the birds weren't there today.

We did see birds, but not in the numbers that were expected, and more importantly, not in the diversity of species that were expected.

One of the birds we did get to see was the Audubon;s Shearwater.
This species is a summer-visitor to this area as it follows the warm, and food-rich, waters of the Gulf Stream.

Other seabird species seen today were lots of Wilson's Storm Petrels, and Greater Shearwater.

The hopes were to see several other species of birds, and as I wrote, more numbers of the species we did see. Oh well, nothing is guaranteed when it comes to wildlife viewing.

Perhaps next year I'll try this trip again...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 21 - Birding at home

When I arrived home from work today I was surprised to see an Olive-sided Flycatcher.
The bird was in the dead top of this Cherry tree in my yard. The same tree that I have been looking at for a few years now hoping for any kind of flycatcher to show up. Usually it is a Flicker or Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

But today I was finally rewarded. I watched the bird sally-out and snag a few insects that it munched on during the 5-minutes that I was able to enjoy this visit.

A new Yard-bird, and the first I've seen in New Jersey this calendar year.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

August 18 - Brigantine Redux

My friend Rob and I returned to Brigantine in search of the juvenile White Ibis that had been reported here mid-week. This bird would be a state-record for the both of us, however this was not to be, at least for today.

We did get a wonderful consolation in a fine, and long, sighting of the Roseate Spoonbill which has been here since at least June 12th. This represents the 2nd record for the state, and such a long-staying vagrant has allowd for many, many folks to see this gem.

Another fantastic bird was found by Rob. This being the Wilson's Phalarope. For me, this was just the second time I've seen the bird in NJ, with the last time begin in 2001.
We had terrific looks at this bird from very close range and for quite a long time.

Several other nice birds were seen today. Notably these were Meadowlark, Bobolink, Clapper Rail, both species of Dowitcher, Western and Pectoral Sandpipers, Whimbrel, Caspian Tern, Bald Eagle, Harrier and Peregrine Falcon and Blue-Winged Teal.

We were also able to hear the Sedge Wren. Yet, we could not get a view of this bird.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

August 11 - Brigantine NWR

On the chance that I could get a new State bird, I took the drive to Brigantine (aka Forsythe NWR) on Saturday. The tide was high, which is perfect to start shorebirding, and there were many birds present as well.
The bird of the day was Red-Necked Phalarope. It was easily seen quite close to the dike. I would say it was about 25 yards away, and in just the right light to show off this brightly colored juvenile. State bird # 329 !!

Shorebirds seen today were: the aforementioned Phalrope, Black-Bellied Plover, Semi-Palmated Plover, Killdeer, Oystercatcher, both Yellowlegs, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Hudsonian Curlew (Whimbrel), Sandpipers of Semi-Palmated, Western, Least, White-Rumped, Pectoral, Stilt, and Short-Billed Dowitcher.

Also seen were Cattle Egret, Clapper Rail, Least, Forster's and Gull-Billed Terns, Skimmer, Seaside and Salt-Marsh Sparrows, and Boat-Tailed Grackles.

August 5 - Jamaica Bay Redux

no Wilson's Phalarope

July 28 - Jamaica Bay NWR