Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23 - Southern NJ Rarities

Today we took a trip down to Salem County in hopes of seeing Yellow-Headed Blackbirds, and possibly some early arriving spring migrants.  Once we reached the open fields of the Featherbed Lane Wildlife Management Area, we spotted a beautiful male Ring-Necked Pheasant strutting though the fields.   Next we spent about 2 hours examining the large mixed-flocks of returning Blackbirds.  Here we saw Red-Winged Blackbirds, Brown-Headed Cowbirds, Common Grackles, and European Starlings.  Finally at the Kings Highway Feedlot we briefly saw a female Yellow-Headed Blackbird.  We then continued looking at the large flock about 100-150 yards south of the feedlot and I was able to locate a stunning male Yellow-Headed Blackbird.

Here's am image similar to what we saw today.

After enjoying some other good birds in the area, I received a text alert that friend Rob Fanning had located a mega-rarity down at Cape May.  We made the 90-minute drive and after a short wait we all got to see a life bird in the form of this Eurasian Tree-Sparrow !!

credit: Sam Galick

This bird may be the first accepted State-Record for New Jersey !

Sunday, March 02, 2014

March 2 - Suffolk County Geese

Our regular group went east this morning out to the town of Riverhead in Long Island's Suffolk County.

The targets we geese and we had quite a few !  We ended up seeing the pair of Pink-Footed Geese that were reported a few days ago.  Also seen today was a Ross' Goose, and a Greater White-Fronted Goose.
We also picked out a flyover Cackling Goose

On nearby Pier Road we had this adult Iceland Gull

credit: Bill Elrick