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.