Friday, November 25, 2016

November 25 - Schenk Forest

This morning I had a bit of time after the family Turkey Day Dinner so I visited the nearby Schenk Forest.  My goal was to see the Red-Headed Woodpecker.  This southern species does breed annually in a few selected spots up north where I live but they are always great to see again.
Here is a sunrise shot from North Carolina at the Schenk Forest Entrance:
click to enlarge

The target species:

A sign about Dr. Schenk

I then tied to visit the nearby Prairie View Ecological Station...but like many of the parks I tried to visit over the holiday (this one, Yates Mill County Park, and Johnson Lake Park) it was closed !!  so I headed back to Schenk Forest and made a quick stop to look at the map and get my bearings.
While parked I saw a pale-ish sparrow hopping around about 20 feet away and so I put my bins on it. To my surprise I saw this was a Clay-Colored Sparrow !    I had very nice views of this bird, and it's lores were clear, which excluded the more common Chipping Sparrow.

Overall a nice morning at Schenk Forest which included species of Brown-Headed Nuthatch, Blue-Headed Vireo, Eastern Meadowlark, American Kestrel and others.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November 23 - Weymouth Woods Woodpeckers

Try saying that title ten times fast !!  On a Thanksgiving trip to see my family in North Carolina I was able to steal away a few hours this morning so I headed southbound on US 1 (a/k/a The Jefferson Davis Highway) toward Fort Bragg, and the town of Southern Pines.  Here is a small park called Weymouth Woods Nature Center that hosts a colony of Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers which can be reliably seen with a little effort.  I arrived just about 8:30 am and began enjoying all of the woodpeckers...Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, and Pileated Woodpecker.  It took about 30 minutes for the specialty birds to show up, and then I was able to get very close & very long-lasting views of the Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 22 - Visit to North Carolina

I'm visiting family this week in the town of Cary, North Carolina.  One of my first objectives after that long 550-mile drive was to see some Brown-Headed Nuthatches.
Of course, I can see this species in Delaware but that is still about 4 hours away... and while I did see this species once in New Jersey in 2005, but again, that was in Cape May and the species has yet to make another appearance in the Garden State.  So whenever in the Tarheel State I make a point of seeing this little gem.

Other species seen today were Carolina Chickadees, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Juncos, White-Throated Sparrows, a Gray Catbird, a Towhee, plus other common species.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

November 5 - Jones Beach & the Pink-Footed Goose

This morning we visited Jones Beach. The best birds today were Snow Buntings & Lapland Longspur.

credit: Bill Elrick

Later we stopped at Hendrickson Park for the Pink-Footed Goose that has been staying here for a few days now.  This species has become annual in the coastal northeastern region over the past few years, It's interesting to note that this species was a major-rarity just a short while ago, particularly the first time I saw it all the way up in Rhode Island back in January 2007