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!