This is the voice of New Jersey Audubon for Wednesday January 16 with reports of review list species TUFTED DUCK, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, and VARIED THRUSH, plus SNOWY OWLS, ICELAND and LITTLE GULLS, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, RED CROSSBILL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, and other reports of interest.
The male TUFTED DUCK continues through Tuesday January 22 in the Navesink River. The bird has been seen from the parking lot at the north end of the Oceanic Bridge north of Rumson, Monmouth County, as well as other viewpoints along the river.
The male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE of Horseshoe Cove at Sandy Hook was not reported to the tape this week, but this bird or another was found at the Conaskonk Point Snowy Owl spot in Union Beach. Reach it by taking Route 36 east from Garden State Parkway exit 117 about 3 miles to the jughandle for Union Avenue north. Take Union Avenue north towards Union Beach. In a mile the road bears left and becomes Front Street. Go to the end of Front Street, and park at the turn-out. Both the BARROW'S GOLDENEYE and the SNOWY OWL were reported on Tuesday January 22.
The Garret Mountain VARIED THRUSH was not reported to the tape this week, though the COMMON REDPOLLS continue in the birches near the basketball court. A new VARIED THRUSH was reported from Route 70 about 10 miles west of the Ocean/Burlington line at mile 24.6, directly across the street from Fire Lane South on the north side of Rt 70.
At least one SNOWY OWL continues at Forsythe a.k.a Brigantine NWR, reported through January 17 in the East Pool. A dark ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and an EURASIAN WIGEON were at Brig January 18.
For the first time in many weeks, no WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were reported, but 17 RED CROSSBILLS were at Harrisonville Pond (or Lake) in Wharton State Forest on Saturday January 19, and apparently have been present in varying numbers for over a month. Harrisonville Pond is along Burlington County Rt. 679 (spur 563) about a mile or so south of where Rt. 563 splits and heads west towards Green Bank. Park in the dirt parking lot at the lake. Sometimes the birds will be heard or seen from the parking lot. If not, cross the road, walk north a short distance to just after the mile marker #7 sign, and turn left on a path that cuts back diagonally 500' to an AT&T telephone cable right-of-way. They've mostly been near the south end of the right-of-way near seven large boulders.
Manasquan Inlet on Tuesday January 22 had 5 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES and an adult "Kumlien's" ICELAND GULL.
16 COMMON REDPOLLS were at the entrance to Waywayanda State Park on January 21.
The recent snow sent many observers to Oberly Road near Alpha over the weekend, who variously reported up to 3 LAPLAND LONGSPURS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SNOW BUNTINGS, 70 HORNED LARKS, SAVANNAH SPARROWS, and RING-NECKED PHEASANTS, through January 22. Nearby Merrill Creek Reservoir has 2 adult and 1 immature BALD EAGLES, TUNDRA SWAN, and an assortment of ducks including 200 RING-NECKED DUCK, COMMON GOLDENEYE, and HOODED MERGANSER.
Oil City Road at the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge on the Sussex County line continues to be the best place for SHORT-EARED OWLS and associated species. On January 16 Oil City Road had 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS, 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (1 dark and 1 light), about 10 Harriers, and 2 pairs of calling GREAT HORNED OWLS. The best observation location, for NJ observers, is down the eastern portion of the Liberty Loop Trail to the highest point, which is over a large culvert.
The High Point State Park pair of Common Ravens were observed feeding and snow-bathing on the lawn of the park office on January 21.
At the other end of the state, the Cape May Ferry terminal and vicinity has been hosting 2 LITTLE GULLS. The Cape May Courthouse LARK SPARROW continues through January 23, but the BELL'S VIREO has not been reported since January 12. Call the Cape May Hotline at 1 (609) 898-BIRD for directions and updates.
The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in NJ. To report birds, please call (908) 766-5787 or fax (908) 766-7775. Documentation of review list species goes the NJ Bird Records Committee at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman NJ 08558. Good birding and thanks for calling, surfing and reporting.