Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14 - Pennsylvania rarities

This morning Andy, Jennifer, Bill and I went a couple of hours west into PA looking for the Harris' Sparrow near Kempton.  Good luck was with us as first we found the remote spot this bird has been seen at & then the luck continued when we saw the bird just a few minutes after arriving.  It's always a great day when you get your target immediately, and being able to see it from across the road while sitting in your car is that much better.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

January 8 - Ocean/Monmouth County birding

Out with Bill E. today and we made our first stop at Barnegat Lighthouse.  Here we quickly found a Razorbill in the channel.  Later we saw the expected Harlequin Ducks along with Purple Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones, and Dunlin.  We also got quick views of a female King Eider amongst all of the Common Eiders here

Thursday, January 05, 2012

January 5 - Not-so-Common Chaffinch

This morning before work I took the one-hour drive to see the (possibly) mega-vagrant Common Chaffinch that has been reported from a homeowner in Western New Jersey.  Fortunately for me the bird showed & quite well at that, just 5 minutes after I had arrived.

Monday, January 02, 2012

January 2 - Rarities chase to start the year

Well after not getting out over the Christmas weekend, I joined some friends today in search of the recent home-state rarities. First up was a stop at Duke Island Park and after a short wait we were able to spot the Greater White-Fronted Goose and several Cackling Geese.
Next we went for the Somerset Sandhill Cranes, but they did not show for us this morning. So the next stop was in Monmouth County's Thompson Park where after an hour's search we got to enjoy the Ash-Throated Flycather with nice close views.
Afterwards we stopped in at Sandy Hook and picked up a few birds typical of the season, such as both Loons, Long-Tailed Ducks, and White-Winged and Surf Scoters.
The next stop was in Hartshorne Woods where we quickly caught up with the Western Kingbird there and ran into some more friends in Hank B. and Chris T.
Finally we returned to the Somerset spot and met more friends, an dit was Jimmy L. that took us over to Colonial Park for views of an immature Red-Headed Woodpecker.  Returning to Somerset for the third time finally got us looks at the Sandhill Cranes !
Overall a nice start to my 2012 birding & a good day seeing quite a few friends!