Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31 - Out with the old.....

For those of you who like numbers, here's lots of them.
These are my totals at the end of 2008.

Life Lists:
ABA Area--- 579
Lower 48--- 579
U.S. -------- 608
N. America- 622
AOU Area -- 651
Millenium--- 576
ABA N.E.---- 372

Various States Life Lists:
NJ--- 339
NY--- 288
CT--- 106
MA-- 104
ME--- 85
DE---- 84
PA---- 57
R.I.--- 50
MD--- 30

AZ--- 201
FL--- 171
CA--- 158
CO--- 148
NV--- 4

Various Life Lists for places in NJ:
ABA N.E.----- 372
Sandy Hook- 229
Cape May --- 245
Garret ------ 173
Brigantine -- 186

For 2008 only:
ABA Area--- 368
ABA N.E.---- 308
N.J. 2008--- 273
N.Y. 2008--- 240

Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29 - Northern Hawk Owl trip


To see an image of the bird we saw yesterday visit: David Blinder

This morning some friends and I left my home at 3 a.m. for the long trip up to Peru, New York to see the previously reported Northern Hawk Owl.
We had tremendous views of the bird as it perched on trees, telephone poles, and in flight.

Later we went to Hurricane Mountain Road in Elizabethtown, NY and saw a half-dozen Pine Grosbeaks, as well as, a Red Crossbill who was gather grit from the roadside.

The Owl was one of my most wanted birds, and becomes ABA Lifer bird # 579.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27 - Sedge Wren

This morning I drove south away from the rain & fog that was pushing north, all the way down to Cape May. I was after a bird I had seen once before, up in New Paltz, NY back in June 2004.

Thanks to local birder Chris Vogel and his recent updates about this bird, I was able to locate it pretty quickly. First by it's call, and then numerous glimpses as it ran through the grasses, and perched from time to time. Overall I spent an hour enjoying this little beauty.

credit: The Marksman

This species is rapidly declining in the east, and barely winters in New Jersey. There are reports of this bird being found every other year or so. Likely it is here annually, but just not discovered as much.
credit: WhataBird click on map to enlarge

This endangered species has been disappearing from the Eastern States, including nearly all of Pennsylvania as well as Maine.

So you can now understand (maybe!) why I would drive so far on a dreary day to enjoy this rare bird.
Oh, and that was New Jersey State Bird # 339 for me !!

Friday, December 26, 2008

December 26 - Meadowlands Arctic visitors

Due to the early winter snows across most of northern North America, two species that breed in the Arctic are now well into their wintering ranges, and these species are showing up in higher numbers than previous years. Across the region there have been numerous reports of Snowy Owls and, more recently, Rough-Legged Hawks.

Maps credit: Whatabird

Today I was able to see both within the Meadowlands, specifically the Richard De Korte Park area. There are two Snowy Owls being seen just north of the now fallow Town of Lyndhurst ballfields. Here is one being harassed by a Northern Harrier:
credit: Jerry Barrack

Throughtout the area are likely close to a dozen of the Rough-Legged Hawks, and both the light & dark morphs are being seen.

Also seen were hawks of Red-Tailed, and the Cooper's, plus American Kestrel, and several Northern Harriers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14 - Montauk Point & Eastern L.I.

Some friends and I started here about 8:30 this morning following the 3-hour ride. As expected we saw several thousand Scoters here, and all three species of Black, Surf, and White-winged were well represented. In fact, from my experiences I know of no better place in this area to see more White-winged Scoters than here.

Among the scoters were many Common Eiders in all plumages, including the adults with the pinkish-blush on their breasts. Red-Breasted Mergansers were about as were numerous Common, and Red-Throated Loons. We were able to see about 10 Razorbills, mostly in flight but some did sit on the water for us too.

I picked out a Black-Headed Gull in flight, and other species of gulls were Bonaparte's, Ring-Billed, Herring, and Greater Black-Backed were also seen.
Common Black-Headed Gull credit:

My friend Andy got to see a very distant Kittiwake but I could not get on it. Alas, no King Eiders were spotted today.

Deep Hollow Ranch species of note were two Snow Geese among the Canada Geese, and a few Killdeer.

Later at Hither Hills State Park we found the out of season Clay-Colored Sparrow, amongst other species of House, Song, White-Throated, and Field Sparrows.
Clay-Colored Sparrow

In the Hamptons we re-located the Cackling Goose, and later at Indian Hills beach access we found the Glaucous Gull in the Sagaponack Pond outflow into the ocean.
Glaucous Gull credit: unknown

Thanks to Angus Wilson for reporting his Saturday sightings of the Cackling Goose, Glaucous Gull, and the Clay-Colored Sparrow.

Monday, December 08, 2008

December 7 - another Ross' Goose !

Well, as happy as I am to get great views of the Ross' Goose that was found about 20 minutes from my house, I am partly frustrated over my recent history with this same species, ha ha !

As luck would have it, I drove 2 hours out to Eastern Long Island to life this bird in March 2008, then spent 4 hours searching for it in winds of 25+ mph, and gusts into the 40s.

Then last Sunday I drove 2 hours south into New Jersey to get it as a State bird, and it rained the entire trip !

So when I heard it was seen this morning, and me being so close, with really nice weather, I decided to see this species again.
credit: Doug Morel

I got to see the bird as I initially drove up, then I watched it feed, fly and swim in the pond.
Overall my best sighting of this species, and the cheapest !

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30 - Brigantine NWR

I woke early today and headed South into the flurries, which became rain after 30 minutes. Arriving at 7:30 as the rain continued I was greeted with a Golden Eagle flying overheard. It was gone in less than 10 seconds, more likely it was 5, as the views always seem longer than they actually are. My first scans of the Snow Geese flocks didn't yield anything but the second time did. I eventually spotted the previously reported Ross' Goose.
credit: Greg Lasley

There were nice views despite the conditions. Rain with 15+ mph winds from the Northeast made scoping quite difficult. After getting wet and tough views I decided to scope from inside the car. This worked much better !!

I did not see any of the godwit species reported yesterday, although the variety of others made it interesting. Shorebirds were far away, but Dunlin, Red-Knot, Greater Yelowlegs, and Western Sandpipers were seen. An Eastern Meadowlark was a late in season surprise. Nelson's Sparrows dared the winds on brief occasions long enough to show their bright buffy colors.

Just over 50 species were seen, which is fairly good for season & especially weather !

November 29 - Ringwood area

The northern portions of Passaic County contain several very good stands of Evergreens, and today I visited a couple of them. First up was Weis Ecology Center off Snake Den Road in Ringwood. Here I had a half-dozen Pine Siskins flying about.

Also seen was a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Bluebird, Junco, Hermit Thrush and Red-Breasted Nuthatch.
credit: Muskrat

Next at Ringwood Manor I saw about 2-dozen Siskins, along with a Pileated Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, and some other nice birds.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 23 - Sullivan County

Today I had just enough time to either bird locally for longer, or chase some goodies further away. I chose to head northwest with some friends to the Sullivan county area.
At Cooley Bog we have numerous White-Winged Crossbills as soon as we got out of the car. That certainly makes the rest of the day easier!.

This was just the fourth time I have seen this species and today was by far the best. I had been at this same location in late August of this year because the same White-Winged Crossbills were breeding here. At that time I saw just 2-3 birds and for just a minute or so.
Today was quite different, first due to the snow-covered roads and continuing flurries, but most of all due to the nearly 30 birds we got to see and hear. These were my best looks ever at the species, with both males and females being well seen by all of us.

Later we tried for some Northern Shrikes that had been reported last week, but none were seen today. However we did get to see a handful of Pine Siskins, including scope views, and that made for a nice way to wrap up this shorter day of birding.

Monday, November 17, 2008

November 16 - Cape May redux

Last weekend's rain at Cape May meant we missed some of the seasonal specialties that show up annually here. So, today we made a return trip in much drier conditions.

First up was a Rufous Hummingbird at a home on the north side of Cape Island.
credit: Howard B. Eskin

The homeowners were gracious enough to allow visitors into their yard, and Rob and I got to see the bird after less than 15 minutes of waiting. The bird returned to the feeder after another 10 minutes to give us some more views of this western vagrant that appears on the east coast every couple of years.

Later at the Cape May Hawkwatch we were treated to another increasing vagrant from the southwest in the form of Cave Swallows. These birds come up on the strong southerly flows during each November and are now annual occurrences, whereas a decade or so ago were not being seen on the East coast at all !

credit: Bob Fogg

We did see soem beautiful adult Bald Eagles, but unfortunately for us we did not see any of the larger Golden Eagles make an appearnace today.

November 8 - Cape May and Brigantine

This morning my friend Rob and I tried for the Thick-Billed Murre that had been reported in Cape May on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately for us the bird was not seen again, and on top of that the rain began falling on us after just a couple of hours.

We decided to head back north towards the Atlantic City area so we could do some birding at the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, which is more commonly known as Brigantine. The auto-tour route here allowed us to bird from the car when the raindrops fell, and in between rain squalls we got out and saw some pretty nice birds.

Of course, most of the shorebirds seen at this time of year are very plain because the birds are in their winter plumage. While this plumage makes the identification a bit harder, it also tests your skills, which makes finding even common birds quite exciting.

Some of the highlights were Sandpipers of Stilt, Western, Least, Pectoral, White-Rumped, Semi-Palmated, Dunlin, and both Yellowlegs.

The best bird of the day was the Hudsonian Godwit that gave us very nice looks.
credit: unknown

This bird is an annual, but rare visitor to New Jersey during it's fall migration to South America.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

October 5 - Central Park

Well this was the first time I ever birded in this park, save for the Boreal Owl that was at Tavern on the Green a few years back. Although rain started our day it quickly stopped and the birds were ready for business too.
Highlights included a Western Kingbird found near DellaCourt Theater, along with Great-Crestred Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, and later a Connecticut Warbler was seen in the Pinetum.

Other goodies were thrushes as we saw Swainson's, Gray-Cheeked, Hermit, and Wood along with Veery, Robins, Thrasher, Mockingbird and a gazillion Catbirds

Sparrows were represented by the ubiquitous House plus others like Song, Swamp, Field, Chipping, White-Throated, White-Crowned, Lincoln's, and Towhees plus a Junco.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers and Scarlet Tanagers were numerous all day long with about two dozen seen of each. Blue-Headed Vireo was seen along with Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Brown Creeper and both Kinglets.

Warblers of the aforementioned Connecticut were joined byTennessee, Parula, Chestnut-Sided, Maggie, BT Blue, Yellow-Rumped, BT Green, Pine, Palm, Blackpoll, B&W, Redstart, Ovenbird, and Northern Waterthrush.

Pretty damn good for my first complete sortie into the park.

Friday, October 03, 2008

October 3 - Northern Wheatear at Garret Mountain

After having struck out on this species twice before, back in 2006 & about 12 days ago, lucked turned my way today when a vagrant Northern Wheatear was found at Garret Mountain.
credit: Smithsonian National Zoo

As soon as the reports came in I took some time off of work to chase this bird. Although traffic was seemingly taking me forever to get there I was actually on the bird within 40 minutes of the internet's rare bird alert.

The most significant feature of the winter-plumaged Wheatear is it's white tail:
credit: Dave Appleton

The Range Map for this very rare visitor:

I saw a few friends there, and made a couple more, plus I hear some other friends also got to see the bird.
A great way to start the weekend ! ABA Lifebird # 577.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

September 13 - Sandy Hook

Thanks goes out to Patty Dexter today for telling me about the Lark Sparrow she had found a few minutes before we ran into each other this morning. I was able to get some nice views of the bird.
Credit: Dan Murray @

Another highlight today was a Baird's Sandpiper that I found at the end of Fisherman's Trail at North Beach. I was watching the sandpipers feeding at low tide when the Baird's flew in amongst them for a minute or two before heading out to more favorable habitat.
credit: unknown

Other goodies seen here today were plovers of Semi-Palmated, Black-Bellied, and Piping. Oystercathers, Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, and a single Western Sandpiper were also seen. Terns were represented by Common and Royal, and I also saw raptors of Merlin, Osprey, and Broad-Winged Hawk. Otherwise a slow day, yet that was to be expected. I'm quite satisfied with the Lark Sparrow and Baird's Sandpiper !

Let's see what Garret Mountain brings tomorrow !!

Monday, September 08, 2008

September 7 - Hurricane Hanna birds


We arrived at Robert Moses State Park at first light. There were less birds than we hoped for but we started with a Whimbrel. Later we saw two and then three Buff-Breasted Sandpipers at very close range of about 10-15 yards.
The highlight of the morning was a Sooty Tern that gave me good looks as it flew headlong into the wind.
With the storm not bringing in large numbers of birds, nor any other rarities, we headed home early today but with a big grin on scoring a Storm bird, and first Sooty Tern I've seen outside of Florida.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

August 30 - Brigantine aka Forsythe NWR

Today John Workman and I made a very early visit to Brigantine and we were rewarded in spades.
The highest species count I have ever had here, with over 80 species seen today.

Highlights were Godwits of Hudsonian & Marbled, American Avocet, Pelican & Golden Plover , 7 Buff-Breasted Sandpipers, along with Stilt Sandpipers and an astonishing 5 Red-Necked Phalaropes.

A Hudsonian Godwit:


Friday, August 29, 2008

August 28 - Walker Avenue Wetlands

I've been stopping here nightly after work for the past 3-4 weeks, with last night being one of the better nights for both species & individuals.
Of note was this Glossy Ibis:
credit: Kevin Bolton @

Also there were:
Least Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Greater Yellowlegs (1)
Snipe (1)
Glossy Ibis (1)
Blue-winged Teal
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Canada Goose
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron

Seen earlier this week:
Green Heron
Pied-Billed Grebe

My biggest surprise is that I've yet to see a Little Blue Heron here, while the conditions seems just right for them.

With all the exposed grass I am hoping for Buffy, Baird's, and Golden Plover during September.

Time will tell !!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August 18 - Walker Avenue Wetlands

On my commute home from work I drive through the township of Wayne, NJ and during certain times of year I will stop here for a few minutes to enjoy the birds. Recently the bird activity here has been increasing and last night's stop brought one of the better recent visits.

Not only were the numbers of birds at a high point, so too were the number of species.
The shorebirds present were the sandpiper species of Pectoral, Solitary, Spotted, Least and Semi-Palmated. Also seen were other shorebirds of Lesser Yellowlegs and Killdeer.

Wading birds of Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Green Heron were seen, and the ducks were represented by Mallard, Wood, Canada Goose, and Pied-Billed Grebe.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

August 17 - Ulster & Sullivan County rarities

Just before 7 am this morning I made my first stop in Ulster County's Shawangunk NWR, specifically at the Galeville Park area. There I ran into Curt McDermott & Rob Stone, and together we waited about 30 minutes for the Scissor-Tailed Flycather to put on it's show. I had last seen this species in April 2004 while birding in the lower Rio Grande area of Texas.
credit: Peter Schoenberger

I enjoyed this bird for a half-hour as it enjoyed catching breakfast !.
Afterward I headed further north and west to the Sullivan County town of Neversink.
Here I ran into friend and fellow Fyke Nature Club member Kevin Watson. We were there to look for the White-Winged Crossbills that had been recently reported from a boggy area on Cooley Road. After a hlaf-hour or so, I heard the birds singing and then I was able to locate a male WW Crossbill at the top of a pine tree. I was able to scope this bird for about 5 seconds before it dropped down and out of sight. Another 45 minutes of waiting paid off as this time we saw a male/female pair in a dead tree. Here the birds sat for quite a while offering fantastic views.


This was the third time I have seen this species, once in Maine and lastly in the Lake Placid area in the late winter 2006. It was much nicer to enjoy these birds in sun while wearing shorts !

Sunday, August 03, 2008

August 3 - Jamaica Bay rarities

Wow, a banner day today. My friends, who yesterday had seen the rare asian migrant of Red-Necked Stint here, decided to make a return trip and I fortunately joined them.
I had seen this Stint species once before, up in Connecticut in July 2006.

While searching for this bird, another birder in Phil Jeffrey, saw a Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper !!


This bird appeared very dark, due to the heavy barring of the chevrons, and it's red cap stood out especially as the day progressed & the lighting got brighter. We were able to see the bird on three separate occasions, with the views getting better each time, due to better light.
credit: Ed Coyle

credit: Doug Gochfeld

This is just the 3rd accepted record of this species in New York State.
This siberian breeder does have records of juveniles that reach northwestern Alaska.

Later this morning I spotted the Red-Necked Stint which has been here since Friday, August 1.
The Stint is the 5th accepted record for the State of New York. Typically this species is found in Asia, with a breeding range that reaches into northwestern Alaska

Stint photos courtesy of Doug Gochfeld.
More can be seen @

We had incredible views of this bird from just about 25 feet away. In fact it was too close for a spotting scope at certain times !

Visit Doug's website for a pair of quick videos showing the bird feeding.

August 2 - Brigantine

Late this morning I met up my friend Rob F. and, along with Chris B., we birded a loop together.

First up we got to see distant views of the White Pelican. It was in the vicinity of the large observation tower that is on the south dike. Also seen here were nice views of Western, as well as, Stilt Sandpipers.
Stilt Sandpiper credit: Royse

I was the only one who caught a glimpse of a Tri-Colored Heron before it slipped below the reeds. Rob picked out a Black-Bellied Plover for the group to enjoy. Later a distant Cattle Egret was also seen, however Rob has seen two at close range earlier in the day before I had arrived. A woman pointed out a lone Ruddy Turnstone to us.

A Royal Tern was quite a surprise, as it was the first sighting of this species for me here, # 168 for my Brig list.
credit: George Jameson

This was also a nice comparison to the other Caspian Terns that I saw here today:
credit: Unknown

The Gull Pond had a juvenile Little Blue Heron, Snowy & Great Egrets, Great-Blue and Black-Crowned Herons, and a singing Blue Grosbeak. We all got to see the Glaucous Gull as close range, and I found a summering/juvenile Brant.

I'm quite sure there were more species here today. Unfortunately, I was living on borrowed time and could only make a quick loop through this fantastic place.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

July 20 - Brigantine

After a late start this morning I finally decided to go birding. I considered going to Delaware for a moment, but went south to Brigantine instead.

I started with a juvenile Little Blue Heron on the Gull Pond. Soon after I had the White Pelican and also the local specialty Gull-Billed Tern.

Later on I enjoyed the majestic Caspian Tern, both perched and in flight. Also a pair of Seaside Sparrow, several Whimbrel, some bright Western Sandpipers, and a pair of adult Little Blue Heron.
In the last bit of marsh near the end of the loop, I had the Glaucous Gull. Quite nice to see one without typical winter weather I normally see them in.
credit: Howard Eskin

Nearby I also had a close pair of Tri-colored Heron. Later a pair of Bobwhite crossed in front of my car just as I entered the Upland habitat at the end of the auto-tour.
credit: Ashok_Khosla

For some more images of Brigantine Birds visit:

July 19 - Sussex County spots

With just a few hours free today I visited some relatively local spots. I started with a nice walk at Paulinskill WMA (aka Hyper-Humus). I heard Virginia Rail calling, and saw a few species of Sandpiper, namely Killdeer, Least, Semi-Palmated and Spotted.

Aftewards I stopped at the Appalachain Tral crossing on Route 95 in Vernon. Here I was able to get beautiful scope views of the Grasshopper Sparrow.
credit: Paula Sullivan @

Others seen here today were Indigo Bunting, Field Sparrow, and Cedar Waxwing, plus Kestrel and a pair of Common Ravens.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 13 - Cupsogue County Park

In search of pelagic birds today, my friends and I went to eastern Long Island's Cupsogue County Park. This located at the western end of Dune Road, near the Hamptons.
While we did not have any luck on the sea-watching front we did get to see several types of Terns, namely the species of Common, Least, Roseate, Sandwich, and Black:


Later I was able to get nice views of the Roseate Tern:credit: Mike Fahay

Also seen here today were wonderful views of Salt-Marsh Sharp-Tailed Sparrow:
credit: Glen Tepke

Other species seen today were Seaside Sparrow, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Oystercatcher, Short-Billed Dowitcher, Least and Semi-Palmated Sandpipers, some non-breeding Red-Throated Loons, Willet, Black Skimmer, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Piping Plover and Black-Bellied Plover.

Monday, July 07, 2008

July 1- Colorado Trip List

Here is a list of the species I saw on my recent trip out west, between June 21 and June 30:

* = Lifer

Canada Goose
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Common Merganser
* White-tailed Ptarmigan
* Blue (Dusky) Grouse
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Northern Goshawk
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
* Ferruginous Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Prairie Falcon
American Coot
* Mountain Plover
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
Wilson's Phalarope
California Gull
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
* Northern Pygmy-Owl (heard only)
Burrowing Owl
Common Nighthawk
Common Poorwill (heard only)
* Black Swift
White-throated Swift
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
* Williamson's Sapsucker
* Red-naped Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
* American Three-toed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Western Wood-Pewee
Hammond's Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Say's Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
Warbling Vireo
Gray Jay
Steller's Jay
Blue Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Canyon Wren (heard only)
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
* American Dipper
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend's Solitaire
Hermit Thrush (heard only)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Cedar Waxwing
Virginia's Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Ovenbird (heard only)
* MacGillivray's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Western Tanager
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Cassin's Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
* Lark Bunting
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
* McCown's Longspur
* Chestnut-collared Longspur
Black-headed Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Common Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole
* Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
Pine Grosbeak
* Cassin's Finch
House Finch
Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

16 Life birds
148 total species for the trip, which includes the "heard-only".

ABA Lifelist total is now 574 species.

Monday, June 16, 2008

June 15 - Northwestern New Jersey

After that nice Saturday morning yesterday, I had some free time on Sunday too. I decided to head north toward Sussex County. First up was an open field at the corner of Blair Road & Route 23, just south of the Wallkill NWR. Here I had Bank, Barn, and Rough-Winged Swallows all giving nice repeated views as they fed in the early morning. Later I went toward High Point and birded some fields and enjoyed some nice grassland birds of Field Sparrow, Willow Fly, Bunting etc.

Once at High Point, I took Ridge Road and had some goodies including Willow Fly. Where it rejoins Sawmill, at the Flatbrook bridge, I had Least Fly and Phoebe. Then at the corner of Sawmill & Deckertown Pike, I was able to get Alder Fly.
Heading south, I stopped at Van Ness Road I heard both YB & BB Cuckoos, but only saw the YB. Here was two calling Alder Flys, plus Blue-Winged , Prairie, and Hooded warblers.
Anyway theres lots of other breeders which I did not list here. I just wanted to cover the highlights for me. You might enjoy these birds, plus whatever else you wish to see on territory or missed in migration.

I'm off to Colorado on Saturday and I hope to have a nice report for you to read when I return.

June 14 - Sterling Forest

With a desire to see the ever rarer Golden-Winged Warbler, this morning I made a visit to Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park, NY. Within a few minutes hike from the parking lot and up the southern hill I was able to hear the singing male:

What a spectacular looking bird. It was harassed most of the time by the usurping Blue-Winged Warbler, to which this species appears to be losing its battle against.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June 1 - Sandy Hook

This morning I headed south to Sandy Hook to get a view of a Western Grebe which has been reported. Fortunately, the bird was where it had initially been located which is in Spermacetti Cove. The bird was not too far out, and the scope views were very nice.

Alder Fly was heard at two spots, and at the Salt Ponds we had Semipalmated Sandpipers, as well as, Semipalmated Plovers. Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, both Green And Black-Crowned Night-Herons were seen.

A perched Common Nighthawk provided detailed views of this nightjar.

Later a return trip to the cove gave me another look at the Grebe - and I found 5 Red Knots feeding out on the sandbar amongst the expected Common, and Least Terns, Oystercatchers Black-Bellied Plovers, etc.