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 !