Monday, January 21, 2008

January 19 - North Shore and Sandy Hook

I started this morning at Manasquan Inlet. Driving through Point Pleasant I saw an adult Cooper's Hawk on a telephone pole. Driving around the inlet I was able to see several of the large Boat-Tailed Grackles. Then at the inlet I had close views of Purple Sandpipers, Bonaparte's Gulls and Great Cormorant, however no alcids or specialty gulls were seen. I did spot a distant adult Northern Gannet, and both Common and Red-Throated Loons along wth Red-Breasted Mergansers.
credit: Steve Bird

On the nearby ponds, I had Canvasback ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, Wigeon, Lesser Scaup and Ringed-Neck Ducks. A highlight was the Lesser Black-Backed Gull, one which was seen on Wreck Pond and another on Lake Como. At Deal Lake I had a Pied-Billed Grebe. I had a single Greater Scaup from the Conover Pavilion area. Finally on Lake Takanassee I saw three male Redheads with a lone female.

Next at Sandy Hook, I was treated to wonderful views of the long-staying Townsend's Solitaire. This bird was first found in the last week of November, and I was able to life this bird in early December. Today the bird was very cooperative and gave several flights that showed it's brilliant wings.

I then searched in vain for the female Barrow's Goldeneye and Eiders that had been reported, only finding Common Goldeneyes, Horned Grebes and Long-Tailed Ducks. However with the help of others I was able to see an Iceland Gull from North Beach.

And I located a White-Winged Scoter from C-lot aka the Chokecherry Parking area.

Interesting January records were had for Field Sparrow and Tree Swallows.