Monday, December 19, 2011

December 18 - Snowy Owl & Say's Phoebe

Today I took a ride west to finally see the long-staying Snowy Owl which has been at Merrill Creek Reservoir since early November.  To get good views it took a bit of a walk but the reward was fine looks at this immature bird. While it did not fly the bird was quite active in looking around, stretching it legs and preening.

Afterward we traveled into New Hope, Pennsylvania and after some time were able to locate the previously reported Say's Phoebe.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11 - Connecticut chases redux

Another rarity chase in the Nutmeg State today...This trip brought our group of Andy, Jen, Bill and I to the Windsor-Bloomfield Landfill in search of a Thayer's Gull which had been reported here a few days ago.
Fortunately the weather was nice and there were not too many gulls about, so that made it quicker for us to find the target bird.  Another life bird for me!

See Kurt's excellent photos of the Thayer's Gull here.

Afterwards we stopped nearby in Windsor and got views of a Barnacle Goose. Then on the drive home we stopped at Pennfield Reef in Fairfield for looks at the Harlequin Duck which had been reported, along with two dozen White-Winged Scoters that were incredibly close and in perfect light to enjoy their reddish bills.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27 - Connecticut chases

A trip to southeastern Connecticut today for a Painted Bunting at Cove Island Park (the same park that held the Fork-Tailed Flycatcher last November) was unsuccessful as evidently the Bunting left yesterday.  Although we did manage to see a Red-Necked Grebe...

Nearby Bill, Ahmet, and I had some more consolations in the male Eurasian Wigeon at Sherwood Island Park.

Afterwards we went up to Westport and were able to get fine looks at a Western Kingbird despite the nearby fog.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19 - Cape May

A long drive today in search of the Ash-Throated Flycatcher failed to see the bird. Although we did get Grasshopper Sparrow, Purple Finch, and Eurasian Wigeon.  A late Baltimore Oriole put in an appearance at the State Park. 
Also I was finally able to see the Eurasian Collared-Doves after a few previous tries.

The highlight was getting nice views of Cave Swallows over Lighthouse Pond -- and being able to see these birds with friends Rob F. and Lisa M., and the best part is that it was a life-bird for Lisa !!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12 - South Padre Island blitz

My last morning of this Texas trip and I was able to squeeze in 2 hours of very productive birding at the South Padre Island Convention Center & the Valley Fund Lots.

The highlight has to be the Long-Eared Owl at the Convention Center. I understand it's one of the very few records of this species over the 18-year history of the Rio Grande Birding Festival !

Another treat, for this region, was a Fox Sparrow, which may be just the 2nd ever record for the entire Rio Grande Valley...Also a Winter Wren put in a brief appearance & a Magnolia Warbler showed well for everyone to see.

Over at Valley Fund lots, I had a Rufous Hummingbird which is quite uncommon. Also seen were sparrows of White-Crowned, White-Throated, Lincoln's, and Swamp.

The trip total is 180 birds seen this week with 4 life-birds (White-Tailed Hawk, Franklin's Gull, Sprague's Pipit, and the Ferruginous Owls. I wish I could come here every year!

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11 - King Ranch Trip / South Padre Island

This morning I took a group trip to the private King Ranch, it's as big as the entire state of Rhode Island.  the target was the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl and right around 11:11 on 11/11 we were finally able to see it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

November 9 - Estero Llano Grande State Park

What a great place this is !  So many different habitats that you get to see an incredible amount of diversity.
One of my favorite was the Green Kingfisher:

And later on I saw this sleeping Pauraque:

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

November 8 - Colley's Island Boat ride

Today my wife & I took a private boat ride with Scarlett Colley into the South Bay.  The winds were quite strong which made the boating & birding a bit challenging but we managed to have a good time nevertheless.
Some of the highlights were flocks of Roseate Spoonbills flying overhead, along with both the White and Brown Pelican species, and many waders such as Tri-Colored and Little Blue herons.

The best bird of the day for me was the "Mangrove" Yellow Warbler, a subspecies that may one day be elevated to a full species.  We had nice looks at two females, and the briefest view of a male.

Notables also seen today were a distant Snowy Plover, Long-Billed Curlews, Marbled Godwits, American Oystercatcher, Black Skimmers, and Red Knots.

Monday, November 07, 2011

November 7 - Sprague's Pipits and other spots

First thing this morning I drove up to the town of Sebastian in search of the Sprague's Pipits that had been reported yesterday. I was able to find a handful of these birds quickly and enjoyed close looks at them.

Down the road just a bit I stopped to look at another Sprague's and came across seven Mountain Plovers !  This is only the second time I've seen them, with the last being in Colorado a few years back.  Teh birds were much close this time being just about 20 feet in front of my car.

Also seen today were many Long-Billed Curlews and it was nice to see their cinnamon wings in flight.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

November 5 - Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival

After arriving in Brownsville, my next destination was South Padre Island to check-in at the hotel. On the way I took "Old Port Isabel Road" and was immediately rewarded with a life bird in the White-Tailed Hawk. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 10 - Orange County "Black Dirt Region"

Today I traveled north to the farm fields of Orange County in search of shorebirds. This area has been extensively flooded after the recent hurricanes and has produced some great rarities as a result.
While I did not see any of those great ones today, I did find some rarities for this inland location.

At Turtle Bay, I saw the immature Blue Grosbeaks plus sandpipers of Spotted, Stilt, Least, Semi-Palmated, White-Rumped along with Killdeer and Semi-Palmated Plover.

On Onion Avenue, I had another Stilt Sandpiper, plus Short-Billed Dowitcher and Pectoral Sandpipers along with both species of Yellowlegs

Later on Missionland Road I observed a pair of Golden Plovers, Sanderling, and also this (rare for Orange County) Western Sandpiper.

click images to enlarge

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

September 7 - Northern Wheatear

I took a very long lunch and headed north to Croton Point and it's train station.  On Tuesday someone had found a Northern Wheatear here.  Since I had only seen this species once before back in 2007 at NJ's Garret Mountain I took this chance to see it again & add it to my NY list !

While the drive up took longer than expected due to more closed roads from all the rain, I made it there and ran into Chris T from NJ.  It was with him that I saw my last Wheater too!

After a 20-minute wait we got on the bird again and enjoyed nice views of this super-rarity !

Sunday, September 04, 2011

September 4 - Connecticut rarities

With Andy and Jen today, we went to Milford Point and saw the Black-Necked Stilt and American Avocet rarities that had been reported.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27 - Pine Island

Out with Simon K. today for some birding before the rain. At Skinners Lane we had a half-dozen American Golden Plovers, a Wilson's Snipe, and sandpipers of Least, Semi-Palmated, Spotted, Killdeer, and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Later at Oil City Road we had the White Ibis flyover both NY and NJ territories

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 21 - Booby time

Today brought upon a successful chase, although it got off to a tough start when I overslept. This meant my buddy Simon had to wait at our meeting spot for an extra 30 minutes. Sorry friend!
Once we got back on track it was smooth sailing. Just before reaching Cape May we caught up with our other friends' car, so we were all able to get on the Brown Booby together  !

Since these views were fine for a scope but we desired more, the group took a boat ride on the Osprey to get closer looks, and we were rewarded handsomely.

Here's the motley looking crew after getting the closeup views:

Finally we visited Brigantine and had the following sightings:  Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck, Marbled Godwits, Terns of Least, Forsters, Black, Gull-Billed, and Caspian, Sandpipers of Least, Semi-Palmated, Western, White-Rumped, Stilt, Pectoral, Turnstone, both Yellowlegs, both Dowitchers, Whimbrel, Semi-Plover, Oystercatcher, Black-Bellied Plover.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

August 6 - Beach Haven for the Hooded Crow

Since I missed out on the Hooded Crow when it was on Staten Island, NY in June, I took the fact that it had been re-found in Beach Haven, NJ as my second chance..and I did not want to miss it.  Fortunately I was able to see the bird after a half-hour or so of looking for it.

 This photo was taken by Sam Galick.

It was nice to see some long-time friends here too, and I enjoyed the beach walk with Ed B. of Bayonne.  As luck would have it I ran into him a bit later at Brigantine and got to spend more time with him while we took a drive on the auto-tour along with Jim Z. who regaled me with stories of his past rarity chases.  It always interesting for me to listen to those with more experiences than I do.
Unfortunately Brigantine did not yield any of it's recent rarities, so I'll have to hope that more roll in later this month!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31 - Kings & Queens...

With friends Andy, Jen, and Bill we made a trip out to Coney Island today and the target was the Gray-Hooded Gull. This species is typically a South American and African bird, yet there was a prior record for North America in Florida back in 1998.

We were very lucky as we expected to wait awhile for the bird, but today it was seen at 6:40 am and we got it right away as we arrived.

Here's a video taken by Bill:

For some fine photos of this bird visit Andrew Baksh's blog

We then made a quick stop at Jamaica Bay and got a look at the Hudsonian Godwit.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17 - Orange County Rarities continue

Out with  Bill E. today and we were able to get fine looks at the Sedge Wren.

Later we had great close looks at the Sandhill Crane before it flew out of the pond and to the north of the hunter's stand.

We also got to briefly see the juv. White Ibis as it took a short flight before returning to its favored pond that is out of sight from the roadway & hunter's stand

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15 - White Ibis at Walkill NWR

After reading a report of a juvenile White Ibis being seen about 45 minutes from my house I decided to give it a go.  The bird was reported at Oil City Road which is just a few hundred yards north of the New Jersey border.  When I first arrived the bird was not i sight, but Rich K. and I used a hunter's blind to get some more elevation.  Shortly thereafter the ibis took flight for about 15 seconds before dropping back into the marsh and out of sight.
 This is my first sighting of this bird in New York.

See John Haas' website for an image of this bird

Saturday, July 09, 2011

July 9 - Cupsogue Beach terns

Out with friend Simon K. today at the Suffolk County, Long Island park at Cupsogue Beach.  Our targets today were seabirds and terns.  We started out just after 8 a.m with a seawatch from the boardwalk.  Here we met Tom B. and Gail B., along with Doug F.

Immediately we wee able to see quite a few Cory's Shearwaters as they worked the wakes left by the fishing trawlers. Along with the shearwaters we were able to get distant views of several Wilson's Storm Petrels.

Next we headed into the back bay and its sandbars to view the terns.  There we of course many Common Terns and it was nice to see them in their full summer colors.  Also seen were a few Forster's Terns, and Least Terns, along with up to 4 Black Terns ranging in variations of all breeding plumages.  The bird of the day was undoubtedly the first-summer plumaged Arctic Tern.  We saw this bird as soon as we got out onto the sandbars, thanks to Brent B. who had already located the bird.  The Arctic Tern was a life bird, # 614, for me so I was quite happy.

click images to enlarge

Visit Andrew's blog for superb shots of the bird.

Later we had fine views of a breeding plumaged Roseate Tern, and subsequently a first-summer Roseate Tern was also seen here. Note the black bill and orange legs on the leftmost bird.

Other birds seen were Black Skimmers, Little Blue Heron, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, SB Dowitchers, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin. Least Sandpiper and several of the more common species.

Later that afternoon we drove a bit farther east to Shinnecock Inlet, and there too we had a few Cory's Shearwaters, and Simon picked out yet another Roseate Tern amongst the flock of Commons feeding in the inlet.  A great day to be out with friends and to make some new ones.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

July 2 - Great Kills Park

Today Bill E.and I came out for the Hooded Crow but missed it.  Although I did see a different bird that I had never seen before. This one is certainly an escapee

Pin-Tailed Wyhdah

Friday, June 10, 2011

June 9 - Cape May rarities

Today I spent some time at the Meadows hoping for a Roseate Tern.  While this bird did not show, a nice Black Tern did !  It was nice to see it in full plumage.

Little did I know that the bigger surprise would come a bit later. While scanning the sky for Mississippi Kites, I saw a Wood Stork. This species is quite rare in New Jersey, with one being seen last fall. As far as I know the last prior record was in 2001 !
The last time I saw this species was in Florida back in 2001, so this certainly made my day.  Fortunately for others the bird was re-found on Saturday & Sunday mornings. So some friends got to see this bird, which always makes the sighting even more special.  Thanks Lisa, for the photo.

Credit: Lisa Ann Malandrino

Monday, June 06, 2011

June 6 - Cumberland County rarities

This morning I was able to see the singing Lark Sparrow on Ackley Road.

Credit: Glen Tepke

Later on Strawberry Avenue I was able to view a male and a female Dickcissel
On the end at James Moore Road I had nice views of Yellow-Breasted Chat.
Credit: Wikipedia

In Wildwood, in a park across from the Bowling Alley, I saw several pairs of nesting Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24 - Orange County's Black-Bellied Ducks

Working a half-day, I was able to have friend Bill E.  join me in heading north to the NJ/NY Stateline. Here we stopped at Oil City Road's Liberty Loop and were able to see the five Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks which had been found the day before.

While enjoying these birds and hearing a Sora calling in the marsh, we also heard & then saw a Sandhill Crane fly overhead !

Other species seen here today were Orchard Orioles, Willow & Alder Flycatchers, and a Black Bear !

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 22 - Tri-County Birding

Today saw a loop through the three NY counties that are just north of where I live.  First up was Orange County and it's Sterling Forest area near Harriman State Park.  The targets today were Golden-Winged Warbler and Cerulean Warbler with both being seen well.  Also seen were warblers of Hooded, Yellow, Chestnut-Sided, Prairie, B & W, Redstart, Ovenbird, C. Yellowthroat, and Louisiana Waterthrush.  A nice surprise was a Great Horned Owl.

The next stops was a quick one at the Blue Chip Farms in Ulster County for the Upland Sandpipers that breed here.  Fortunately I was able to spot them upon arriving.

Lastly I visited the Bashakill Wetlands in Sullivan County.  Here I had quick views of Common Moorhen, and also Canada Warbler & Northern Parula. Three species of Swallow were seen, thise being Barn, Tree, and Bank.  Three species of Vireo were Red-Eyed, Warbling, and Yellow-Throated, and three species of Flycatcher in Least, Alder, and Pewee.  The Bald Eagle nest has produced some young this year too !

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 19 - Liberty Loop

I went up north after work today in hopes of seeing the breeding Red-Necked Phalarope which had been reported earlier in the day. Unfortunately the Phalarope was not found again. However while searching I did come across a very unusual bird for this inland habitat, a Piping Plover.  This species is almost exclusively seen along the beaches. Perhaps this bird was blown inland after a week of easterly winds, otherwise could it be from the Great Lakes population of this species ?

Credit: David Baker 

credit: South Dakota Birds & Birding

May 14 - Southern NJ specialties

With friends of Andy and Jennifer today and our goal was the birds of southern NJ.  The first stop was at Heislerville WMA where Andy was able to locate the Curlew Sandpipers that had been reported there recently. It had been 4 years since I last saw this species, which is a rare visitor from Eurasia.  Here we also had a Yellow-Throated Warbler. Next at nearby Thompson's Beach we heard and ultimately saw a King Rail.  This was my first record in New Jersey !

We then headed up to Belleplain State Forest and here Jennifer was able to find a Kentucky Warbler for the group to enjoy. In addition to more Yellow-Throated Warblers, we also saw Worm-Eating Warbler.

Finally on the way home we stopped in at Brigantine NWR and saw some of the regularly occurring birds here. Swallows of  Tree, Barn, Bank, and Purple Martin and Chimney Swift. Plus the terns of Forster's, Gull-Billed, and Caspian.  Both species of Dowitcher were seen too.

May 8 - Garret Mountain

May 7 - Garret Mountain

May 6 - Garret Mountain

May 5 - Garret Mountain

April 30 - Garret Mountain Yellow-Throated Warbler

While at Garret this morning friend Stephanie gave me a call telling me that she had re-found the Yellow-Throated Warbler that had been reported yesterday.  We were all able to get fine views of this extremely rare visitor to the park. Typically these birds are found in southern New Jersey, or along the Delaware River. So this was my first time seeing this species in the decade or so of coming here.

Around the pond we had Sandpipers of Spotted and Solitary, and newly arriving Warbling Vireos.  The other notables are the Wood Warblers, and these 15 species were seen today: Nashville, Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-Sided, Black-Throated Blue, Yellow-Rumped, Black-Throated Green, Blackburnian, the aforementioned Yellow-Throated, Pine, Prairie, B&W, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, and an early Canada Warbler.

A Lincoln's Sparrow was a nice find, as were the M/F pair of Orchard Orioles.

April 29 - Meadowlands

I stopped here before work today looking for a Red-Necked Phalarope that had been reported yesterday, but I did not see this bird. It has been 4 years since my last sighting of this species, so I hope to get one soon.

What I did see were some nice birds in Blue-Winged Teal, Black Duck, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Green-Winged Teal, and Ruddy Duck. Highlights were certainly the several Sora that showed quite well, and the Common Moorhen that put in a brief appearance.  We also got a quick look at Marsh Wren.  A beautiful male Scarlet Tanager made for a nice surprise too !

April 26 - Garret again

Another fine morning today with just a bit of time before work. The warblers are arriving in good numbers now and diversity is picking up too. Wood Warbler species seen were Blue-winged, Parula, Yellow, Yellow-Rumped, Pine, Prairie, Palm, B&W, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, and a quick glimpse of Louisiana Waterthrush for a total of 11 species.
the same species of Sparrow were seen as on the 24th, but add a Savannah Sparrow. Also my first Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks & Scarlet Tanagers of the year was seen.  The same is true for Wood Thrush, House Wren, Eastern Kingbird, and Spotted Sandpiper. I'm sure to be back here soon enough!

April 24 - Garret Mountain

One of the better early-spring warbler days were had here today.  A total of 9 species seen were Northern Parula, Yellow, Black-Throated Blue, Yellow-Rumped, Black-Throated Green, Palm, Black-and-White, American Redstart, and Ovenbird.
Other notable species from today were Common Loons flying overhead, Osprey, Cooper's and Red-Tailed Hawks. Along Barbour's Pond I saw my first Solitary Sandpiper of the year, and Eastern Phoebes are back in. A single Great-Crested Flycatcher, and several Blue-Headed Vireos put in appearances, along with Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers. The Sparrows were well represented too, with Towhee, Chipping, Field, song, Swamp, White-Throated, and Juncos being seen.  A singing Purple Finch added some nice color to the morning!

April 17 - Metro New York birding

With friends Andy, Jen, and Simon today we visited Central Park, Jamaica Bay, and finally the Botanical Gardens.

In Manhattan's Central Park we dipped on the long-staying Varied Thrush but did see most of the regularly expected birds for this time of year. A Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher offered some of the better views.

Since it was quiet here we headed east out to Queens and Jamaica Bay's Refuge.  Here on the West Pond we got excellent views of a few Tri-Colored Herons ( a bird that I completely missed in 2010) and several Little Blue Herons.  Shorebirds seen were Dunlin, Oystercatcher, and a Pectoral Sandpiper.  Later on East Pond, we saw Blue-Winged Teal, Green-Winged Teal, Gadwall,  and a surprise in Cliff Swallow.

Lastly at Bronx's Botanical Gardens we got outstanding views of the early Prothonotary Warbler. Alos seen were Palm and Pine Warblers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 10 - Return to Garret Mountain for Spring Migration

Well, after a few weeks off from serious birding, I made my first spring trip to this hotspot. It is still early but species are returning each day now.

There was good diversity, but very low numbers. For me the "first of they year" was Parula, Palm, & Prairie Warblers, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Tree Swallow, Turkey, Hermit Thrush, Towhee, Field & Swamp Sparrows, Brown Creeper & Eastern Bluebird Sapsucker.  So these made for a good morning.

It was also good to get out and see friends that were last seen before the winter & who I will see almost daily over the next 7-8 weeks.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 12 - Salem County birding

Out today with Simon, in quest for his lifer Brewer's Blackbirds.  Our first stop was at Featherbed Lane, and after a bit we had a quick glimpse of the Brewer's male, but not satisfactory enough for Simon.   At a feed lot just south of Featherbed Lane, we did get fine looks at a Yellow-Headed Blackbird.

 credit: Chip K.

We then took a few-mile ride down to Mannington Marsh. Here we had fine looks at Sandhill Cranes, and were even serenaded by their calls. Also here were a pair of Bald Eagles, my first Wood Ducks of the spring, Northern Pintail, Green-Winged Teal, Gadwall, Pied-Billed Grebe, and other waterfowl species.

 credit: Ecobirder

 A return to Featherbed was for naught, but then I suggested we take the road (Sharptown-Auburn Road) that diagonally bisects the area. In a tree by a farmhouse we saw a large flock of Blackbirds. With Simon's persistence of scoping all of the individuals, he was able to uncover the male Brewer's !   We had fine looks at it in the scope, including all of the diagnostic field marks.
 Credit: Simon K.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

March 8 - New Jersey's first ever Pink-footed Goose

A new state record is in the making as a Pink-Footed Goose has been spotted in Bergen County's Township of Washington. An article with some details is here.

credit: Chris Takacs

This is my fourth record of this vagrant Goose. The first was up in Rhode Island during January 2007.
My second sighting came later that year, in November 2007 in Montauk, Long Island.
And my third sighting, likely of the same 2007 Montauk bird, came in February 2008.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

February 26 - Return for Finches

After last weekend's miss I received some info on possible Evening Grosbeaks in Sullivan County. Again I wasn't able to find these birds so I'll have to try again, and earlier, next winter.  Yes, I wrote "next winter" because today is March 1st so I'm putting the winter of 2010-11 in the rear-view mirror. Optimistic?  Yes!

Today I returned to Sullivan with friend Simon, who is visiting from the U.K. for a few more months. I was glad to help him get to see his North American first Common Redpolls, of which we saw many today. Also we saw Pine Siskins, American Tree Sparrows, Bald Eagles and several species of Woodpecker.

credit: Bill Horn

February 20 - Sullivan County stops

This morning I headed up north to Sullivan County in hopes of winter finches. Unfortunately, I was not able to find any Evening Grosbeaks.  Still it was a good morning as I did see a few species of Woodpeckers, and more Chickadees than could be counted.

I was able to view about 2 dozen Common Redpolls, which is the first I've seen of them since the invasion of 2008. The last sightings from that year came in the first days of April !

Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31 - Paramus' Long-Eared Owl

A call from a friend made up for yesterday's big miss which included a long and difficult hike thru virtually knee-deep snow.

Today's excursion was much easier on the legs and produced a pair of Long-Eared Owls.

Credit: Doug M.

And yesterday I found this unexpected critter. What's he doing out in late January?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29 - Long Island stops & Saw-Whet Owl

Out with Simon, Andy & Jennifer today. Our first stop was Point Lookout, near Jones Beach, and we had fine looks at a group of Harlequin Ducks, numerous Long-Tailed Ducks, a pair of dark morph Rough-Legged Hawks, a male Northern Harrier.
Later we stopped at Jones Beach and had all 3 species of Scoters, both loons, a flock of Snow Buntings and other typical wintering birds.
Our final stops was at Pelham Bay Park's Orchard Beach and here we were able to get Simon a lifebird in the Northern Saw-Whet Owl.

credit: Simon King

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 23 - Crossbills

This frigid morning where temps were in the single digits saw a visit to Long Branch, NJ and it's Seven President's Park. Here friends Andy, Jen and Simon joined me in viewing both species of crossbills, the White-Winged and the Red.

January 16 - Sullivan County misses & Grassland birds

January 9 - Northern NJ coast

January 1 - Cape May New Year's

Visiting Cape May with some friends to celebrate the New Year at the Grand Hotel, I was able to squeeze in some birding. On the first of January while looking out the hotel window I was surprised to see two Razorbills make a very brief landing just offshore. Later a quick drive around the island produced birds typical of a New Jersey winter, and a few surprises in the "half-hardies", birds that sometimes linger thru the winter in the milder areas of the state.

The next day I got a very brief look at a Dickcissel that was visiting a feeder along New England Road, and then driving through Stone Harbor I was able to see a few over-wintering Marbled Godwits. Also some American Oystercatchers and some Boat-Tailed Grackles.