Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10 - NJ's first Crested Caracara ?

I made a big detour on my way to work this morning by going out to the town of West Windsor.   What drew me here was the Crested Caracara that has been first reported on Saturday afternoon.  I could not get free on Sunday, so this morning had to do.   I arrived at 8:00 and saw the bird straight away & then it flew up on top of a pole where it stayed about 15 minutes.  Afterwards it took a long circular flight around the field and then went down below a slope and out of sight for me.  On my way back towards work I enjoyed thinking that this may be the first accepted record of this species in New Jersey.  The prevailing logic at this time is that the bird was chased out of it's normal southern range by last week's Hurricane Issac, which had first hit the New Orleans coast and then as a Tropical Storm had traveled up into the Central US.

click to enlarge

Here's a quick digi-scope I managed.

Here are several folks wonderful shots of this rarity

Saturday, September 08, 2012

September 8 - Elegant Tern at Sandy Hook

At last !  After missing this bird on Wednesday while also getting drenched in a 30-minute downpour I was able to see this bird.  It represents the 1st New Jersey record of this species !

click to enlarge

Copyright: Larry Scacchetti

For some more excellent photos, see Larry Scacchetti's website.

Other birds seen here today were dozens of Black Terns, Common Terns, Caspian Tern, and Black Skimmers.  Shorebirds seen were Piping Plovers, Black-Bellied Plovers, Buff-Breasted Sandpipers, and Baird's Sandpiper, a very rare for this site Whimbrel, Stilt Sandpiper.  And I missed the Sandwich Tern that Larry saw !

Sunday, September 02, 2012

September 2 - Salem County Sod Farms

Today my friend Bill E. and I took a long drive to southwestern NJ to visit the Sod Farms there.  At the East Coast Sod Farm, Bill was able to locate our primary target of Buff-Breasted Sandpiper.  I had not seen this species last year, so it was a treat to view this beauty once again. 

At the nearby Featherbed Lane Wildlife Management Area we enjoyed seeing Upland Sandpiper, and several Eastern Meadowlarks

Finally at Johnson Sod Farms we came across a flock of 12 Buffies, and these were at close range offering fantastic views.  Also here were some Pectoral Sandpipers and numerous Black-Bellied Plovers.