Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 28 - Blame it on the Sapsucker

I did not plan on birding today, however when I saw a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker in my yard early today, I decide to get in the car and head south. The ponds along coastal NJ are starting to open up and while most of the birds are gulls, there is some waterfowl to be found.
At Manasquan Inlet I found a second-cycle Glaucous Gull along with the other expected species of Ring-Billed, Herring, and Greater Black-Backed Gulls. I was not able to find any of the Lesser Black-Backed Gulls today. Also at Manaswuan were about 85+ of the Purple Sandpipers and two-dozen Dunlin and a handful of Black-Bellied Plovers and Sanderlings.

Ducks seen in the various ponds were Canvasback, Ring-Necked Duck, both Scaup species, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Black, Mallard, Common & Red-Breasted Merganser species, Coot, Bufflehead, Horned Grebe, Common Eider, Black Scoter and Surf Scoter, Common Loon, both Cormorant species, Brant, Pintail, Riddu Duck, and Oldsquaw Duck.
A Peregrine was on the bridge going over the Manasquan Inlet

Later I stopped at the Richard DeKorte Park in the Meadowlands to try for the Northern Shrike that has been seen there for several months now. After a 30-minute wait the bird finally showed and gave me very nice looks in my scope.

A quick stop in Kearney Marsh produced the over-wintering Common Moorhen. This is one of the few known breeding spots in north eastern New Jersey.

Overall, a good day, all thanks to that Sapsucker !