Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 1/29/2009
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society for January 29, 2009 with reports of BLACK BRANT, BARNACLE GOOSE, WESTERN GREBE, EARED GREBE, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, seasonal and local reports of interest and announcements. Most locations in this report can be found in Bill Boyle's "A Bird Finding Guide to New Jersey" available at New Jersey Audubon bookstores.

Birders are encouraged to submit reports of Review List Species through photos, field sketches, and/or written documentation to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at report AT njbrc.net or 14 Crown Drive, Warren NJ 07059.

A BLACK BRANT was gleaned from a flock of "pale-bellied" Brant on the lawn adjacent to Phillips Ave in Deal Jan 24.

The BARNACLE GOOSE was seen Jan 25 in a field at the intersection of Rte 513 and Maple Lane near Califon, Hunterdon County. The "pond" section of the Raritan River where the bird is normally found with Canada Geese is currently frozen. A small flock of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS was noted along River Rd in Califon Jan 28.

A WESTERN GREBE was observed at Manasquan Inlet Jan 23. Possibly the same individual was re-located and photographed off Roosevelt Avenue in Deal Jan 25. On Jan 26 the Western Grebe was observed off Phillips Ave & Clem Conover Blvd in Deal. The bird was viewed off the end of Neptune St in Deal on Jan 27. More information on birding this area can be found at http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/SHBO/Northshore.html

The EARED GREBE continues at Round Valley Reservoir through Jan 28 near the main boat launch area. A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was noted Jan 25. Immature ICELAND GULL and GLAUCOUS GULL were present at the reservoir early in the morning several days this week along with a COMMON REDPOLL on Jan 27. Spruce Run Reservoir hosted 1,500 SNOW GEESE, 2 TUNDRA SWANS, 2 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, and 3 SNOW BUNTINGS at the boat launch Jan 26. Also in Hunterdon County was a flock of three dozen WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS that stopped to feed on hemlock trees along Third St in Frenchtown Jan 27 and another flock in Clinton Twp Jan 26.

The GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE was present as recently as Jan 23 in Collingswood, Camden County. Birders are welcome to visit, but please use discretion and common sense when visiting. The address is 1147 Mansion Ave, Collingswood NJ. Approach the backyard from the left- hand side of the house and look for the bird in the bushes along the left edge of the yard or under the feeders.

Warren County reports this week included the elusive flock of WHITE- WINGED CROSSBILLS near the corner of Richline and Fox Farm Roads at Merrill Creek Reservoir Jan 24-26. The best times to look for the crossbills are early morning, late morning, and late afternoon. Other birds noted at Merrill Creek included 3,000 SNOW GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, COMMON RAVEN, 250 PINE SISKINS, and 3 COMMON REDPOLLS. Two ROUGH- LEGGED HAWKS and a LAPLAND LONGSPUR were detected at the Alpha Grasslands along Oberly Rd Jan 24. Twenty-seven COMMON REDPOLLS were tallied at the Water Gate picnic area along Old Mine Rd Jan 24.

Ringwood Manor/Botanical Gardens continues to host a sporadic flock of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS through Jan 25. Also there this week were COMMON RAVEN and 49 PINE SISKINS. WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were also heard along Clinton Rd in the Pequannock Watershed Jan 25. The birds are most frequently detected between parking areas P4 and P5. A COMMON REDPOLL briefly visited a feeder in Hewitt Jan 27.

Two ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were noted at the Liberty Loop area in Wallkill River NWR Jan 25. A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was noted with HORNED LARKS and SNOW BUNTINGS along Long Bridge Rd near the Pequest River in Allamuchy Jan 29.

Reports from the NJ Meadowlands this week included 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS along Valley Brook Ave and 2 COMMON RAVENS Jan 23.

Great Swamp NWR had a flock of PINE SISKINS and 2 male PURPLE FINCHES visiting the feeders on White Bridge Road this week.

Sandy Hook sightings this week included 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS and 1-2 COMMON REDPOLLS at the end of the fisherman's trail Jan 25. An immature ICELAND GULL was off Batteries Kingman & Mills Jan 23. The most recent report of the Plum Island ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was Jan 23. A free, detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO; check the sightings log there for daily reports.

North Shore reports this week were of the drake EURASIAN WIGEON at Silver Lake in Belmar Jan 23-24 and at Shark River Inlet Jan 25; 4 REDHEADS along Riverside Dr in Shark River Estuary Jan 26; 4 REDHEADS at Little Silver Lake in Point Pleasant, single RED-NECKED GREBES off Sea Bright Jan 23, the Monmouth Beach Cultural Center Jan 24, and off Allenhurst/Deal Jan 26 & 27; RAZORBILL off Pullman Ave in Elberon Jan 23; 2 "large alcid sp." off the Monmouth Beach Cultural Center Jan 24; single LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS appeared this week at Clem Conover Blvd in Deal, Allenhurst, and Sylvan Lake in Bradley Beach. A small number of COMMON REDPOLLS continue at Shark River Inlet between the south jetty and the Belmar Fishing Club; nine birds were in the pines there Jan 26.

The SANDHILL CRANE pair continues in Franklin Twp through Jan 27. The birds have been in a field south of Weston Rd and east of Mettler Rd; safest viewing is from the vacant office building parking lot across from the Huntington Life Sciences building. The cranes have also been seen in a corn stubble field west of Randolph Rd half way between Weston Canal and School House Roads.

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were reported at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association Headquarters at the feeders Jan 24.

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and SHORT-EARED OWL were noted at Mercer County Park Northwest off the Federal City/Cold Soil Rd entrance Jan 24.

Two LONG-TAILED DUCKS and 2 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were noted at Palmyra Cove Jan 25. Also in Burlington County was a dark-morph ROUGH- LEGGED HAWK, 3 PALM WARBLERS, and 5 PINE WARBLERS at Franklin Parker Preserve near Chatsworth Jan 25.

The GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE appeared again along Cedar Run Dock Rd in Ocean County Jan 24. Three ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and a SNOWY OWL were viewed from the end of Stafford Ave in Manahawkin WMA Jan 27.

A BLUE-HEADED VIREO was a rare mid-winter surprise at Brigantine NWR Jan 23. The bird was feeding in the small clearing just before the bridge at the end of the wildlife drive. Also at Brig was a drake EURASIAN WIGEON Jan 24.


A pelagic trip is scheduled from Belmar February 8, 2009 in search of Razorbill, Dovekie, other alcids, Black-legged Kittiwake, and "good gulls." For more information or to register, please contact See Life Paulagics at 215-234-6805 or http://www.paulagics.com

The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly summary of birding in New Jersey. To report birds please call 732-872-2500 or email sightings AT njaudubon.org Good Birding and thanks for reporting.

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