This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday January 2, 2014 with announcements, reports of BARNACLE GOOSE, PACIFIC LOON, PAINTED BUNTING, KING EIDER, EURASIAN WIGEON, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SNOWY OWL, DOVEKIE, COMMON MURRE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, Christmas Bird Count results, and seasonal/local reports of interest.
A BARNACLE GOOSE was found with two hybrid Barnacle X "white-cheeked" geese at Spruce Run Reservoir Dec 31.
Two PACIFIC LOONS were found in Monmouth County this week. One was photographed at the north side of Manasquan Inlet Dec 27. Another PACIFIC LOON was photographed the same day at Roosevelt Ave in Deal; that bird has continued in the Deal/Allenhurst area through Jan 1.
A green PAINTED BUNTING has been present in Middletown, Monmouth County Dec 24 through Jan 1. Birders are welcome to see the bird at 36 Devonshire Ct, Middletown; access is off Rte 35 via Taylor Lane. Visitors are welcome after 8:30 a.m. and MUST stay out of the fenced-in portion of the rear yard, where the bird feeders are located. You can park along Taylor Lane, walk up the short driveway and watch the feeders from the yard.
The Somerset CBC Dec 28 tallied 85 species including 4 CACKLING GEESE, 3 SANDHILL CRANES, COMMON GOLDENEYE, 2 PEREGRINE FALCONS, 4 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS, 21 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, 4 HORNED LARKS, 2 COMMON RAVENS, 11,000 AMERICAN ROBINS, 6 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, 13 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, and 3 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.
The Long Branch CBC Dec 28 recorded 111 species and 8 count-week birds including 4 REDHEADS, PACIFIC LOON, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, 3 RAZORBILLS, 2 COMMON RAVENS, HOUSE WREN, and PINE WARBLER.
The Barnegat CBC Dec 29 found an excellent total of 134 species plus 2 count-week birds including CACKLING GOOSE, KING EIDER, 34 HARLEQUIN DUCKS, AMERICAN BITTERN, TRICOLORED HERON, LITTLE BLUE HERON, SNOWY EGRET, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, 8 SNOWY OWLS, LONG-EARED OWL, 6 SHORT-EARED OWLS, RAZORBILL, 2 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, NASHVILLE WARBLER, PALM WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, and a Pheucticus Grosbeak.
Wallkill River NWR's Liberty Loop hosted multiple ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (both light and dark morph) and 9+ SHORT-EARED OWLS through Jan 1.
Sightings from the NJ Meadowlands this week included 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS along Disposal Rd at DeKorte Environmental Center in Lyndhurst and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus, both Jan 1.
A SNOWY OWL was seen at Liberty State Park Dec 27.
Up to 6 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were noted this week at the Ridgewood Duck Pond in Bergen County.
Single first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL and ICELAND GULL were noted along the Passaic River in Garfield/Clifton Jan 1.
A REDHEAD was noted at Round Valley Reservoir Dec 30.
A first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL was found at Boonton Reservoir Jan 1. Lake Hopatcong hosted 5 TUNDRA SWANS, 2 GREATER SCAUP, 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Jan 1.
Franklin Twp, Somerset County reports this week were of 2 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS at Colonial Park and 6 SANDHILL CRANES around Randolph Rd Jan 1.
An adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was noted Dec 26 at Linden Hawk Rise Sanctuary. More information about this site can be found at http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionHawkRiseSanctuary/Introduction.aspx
Four RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS and 40 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS continue through Jan 1 at the Oros Wildlife Preserve in Woodbridge. Also in Middlesex County was an ICELAND GULL at Edgeboro Landfill Dec 30.
Sandy Hook reports this week were of an out-of-season Piping Plover at the north end Dec 30, 2-3 SNOWY OWLS, 3-4 RAZORBILLS, 90 SNOW BUNTINGS and LAPLAND LONGSPUR Jan 1, and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER Dec 30.
North Shore reports this week included up to 3 KING EIDERS (2 immature males and one adult male) among the 4,000+ flock of scoters off Monmouth Beach through Jan 1, the aforementioned PACIFIC LOONS, RED-NECKED GREBE at Manasquan Inlet Dec 27, single SNOWY OWLS at Monmouth Beach Dec 31 and at Allenhurst Jan 1, three RAZORBILLS off Monmouth Beach Dec 26, two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and an ICELAND GULL at Wreck Pond Dec 27, and 2 first-cycle ICELAND GULLS at gull island near Manasquan Inlet Dec 31.
A pelagic trip to the Mud Hole northeast of Shark River Inlet Jan 1 recorded 12 DOVEKIES, 38 RAZORBILLS, 31 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, 2 ICELAND GULLS, and 2 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.
A SNOWY OWL was seen at Island Beach State Park Dec 30. On the other side of the inlet a KING EIDER was noted at Barnegat Light State Park Dec 26.
Burlington County reports were of a light-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at Franklin Parker Preserve Dec 26 and at Florence multiple LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and 2 ICELAND GULLS were noted Dec 27.
Forsythe (Brigantine) NWR had 22 TUNDRA SWANS, 2 drake EURASIAN WIGEONS in the Danzenbaker Pool, and 3 SNOWY OWLS Jan 1. A GOLDEN EAGLE was noted there Dec 30. Other Atlantic County sightings this week were of a hen KING EIDER at Longport Inlet Dec 28 and at Brigantine Island (Absecon Inlet) TRICOLORED HERON, 9 MARBLED GODWITS, 160 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS, 60 "Western" WILLETS, 2 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS were found Jan 1.
A ROSS'S GOOSE was found among the SNOW GOOSE flock along County Home Rd in Salem County Dec 29.
If you are a frequent reader of the VONJA, please consider joining New Jersey Audubon. You can find out more about membership by calling 908-204-8998 or visiting http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionAboutNJAS/JoinNJAudubon.aspx
Visit the New Jersey Audubon eBird portal for feature articles, announcements, and to submit your bird sightings: http://ebird.org/content/nj
Check out the 'All Things Birds' blog http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionCenters/SectionAllThingsBirds/AllThingsBirdsBlog.aspx
The New Jersey Young Birders Club's next field trip is scheduled for January 11 at Sandy Hook and the "northern north shore," where we'll look for sea ducks, loons, grebes, gulls, and seabirds. This trip is designed for young birders and their parent(s)/guardian and is free, but pre-registration is required: contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. For more information about the club see http://njyoungbirders.weebly.com
The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in NJ. To report birds please email sightings AT njaudubon.org. Please submit reports of Review List Species (photos, field sketches, and/or written documentation) to the NJ Bird Records Committee at report AT njbrc.net or 13 Strawberry Lane, Cape May NJ 00824. Good Birding and thanks for reporting.