Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29 - Rare visitor to Sterling Forest

Birders from the Orange County, NY's  "Mearns Bird Club" spread the word on Saturday that a rare bird was being seen at the Sterling Forest Visitor Center, which is located in Tuxedo Park, NY.   This spot is just over 30 minutes from my house in Northern NJ, so I decided to make a stop here on my way home from work. 
The avian visitors are a pair of Mississippi Kites, a species that can be seen annually in the second half of  May here in the north when their migration overshoots their typical breeding range of the Carolinas. Usually these sightings are in the southern part of New Jersey and last for just a few days.  So to have these birds appear this far north, and as a pair was quite unusual.

Photo/Video Credits: Bill Elrick of  NYNJ Birding Guide

 Here is a short video to help bring this experience to life for you !

Some pics from my friend Stephanie can be seen here
Here is a sample of her work.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24 - NJ Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

I made a quick trip before work today to get a glimpse of the rarity.  This species can appear in NJ in the fall, but a spring record is even more rare.   I was a bit concerned as I drove south through the rain, but luckily for me the skies cleared as I reached the corner of Randolph & Schoolhouse in Franklin Township. 
This is my first sighting of this species in about 4 years and my first-ever in NJ.  The other birders and I were also able to hear it call out quite a few times.

Credit: Unknown