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 !