Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 1/4/2007
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society for Thursday January 4, 2007 with reports of BLACK BRANT, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, PURPLE GALLINULE, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN TANAGER, BREWER'S BLACKBIRD, BROWN PELICAN, BLACK RAIL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, seasonal and local reports of interest, Christmas Bird Count Results, and announcements.

An adult PURPLE GALLINULE was an incredible find on the Barnegat CBC Dec 31. The bird was seen in the salt marsh on the north side of Dock Street (not to be confused with nearby Dock Rd) east of Rte 9 in Parkertown. Head east on Dock Street to the first Y-shaped double telephone pole, just west of the docks and construction machinery on Barnegat Bay. The bird was seen here (DeLorme P 65 in what would be G-29 if there was a 29 on the grid, near the upper left-hand corner of the "G").

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was found in Stockton, Hunterdon County Dec 31-Jan 3. To see the bird go to the Prallsville Mill access of the D&R Canal State Park in Stockton and walk south along the towpath for about one tenth of a mile. Just before reaching Ferry St look to the where there is a chicken coop and a bittersweet plant with berries on the right next to the towpath-the bird has been viewed here. The bird wanders widely: if not found there, try looking across the street in the cedar trees and the playground field on the right side of the towpath or along Old Prallsville Rd, Rte 523, Wolverton Rd, and Ferry St.

A WESTERN TANAGER was found Jan 4 at Echo Hill Park in Clinton Twp, Hunterdon County. From the parking area walk north through the pine grove to a cedar tree field: the bird has been viewed at the northeast corner of the field with robins and waxwings (DeLorme P. 35, E-22).

Up to 6 BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS (3 males/ 3 females) were noted through Jan 3 near Pennsville in Salem County. Look for them around the farmhouse near the corner of Supawna and Freas Roads (DeLorme P. 60, H-13). Brewer's Blackbirds are usually found around livestock, so check the areas with cattle/horses carefully.

A BLACK BRANT was noted Dec 30 at South Amboy's Waterfront Park. Look for the bird along the shoreline or on the athletic fields among the large flock of ATLANTIC BRANT. For directions to this site see http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/SHBO/SoAmboy.html

The female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE continued this week at Sandy Hook. An immature BROWN PELICAN was found Dec 29 & 31 in Sandy Hook Bay, seen off SHBO and on the pilings at the end of Horseshoe Cove. Also at the hook this week were GREAT EGRET and a GLAUCOUS GULL at North Beach Jan 2. A free detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO; check the sightings log there for daily reports.

The male EURASIAN WIGEON was noted again Jan 1 in Rumson at the pond just north of the intersection of Navesink and Hartshorne Roads. Also there was an AMERICAN BITTERN.

North Shore sightings this week included an immature male EURASIAN WIGEON detected on Sylvan Lake in Bradley Beach Jan 1, 2 COMMON EIDERS off Deal Lake in Asbury Park Dec 30, an adult male Harlequin Duck off Clem Conover Blvd in Deal Dec 29, an adult LESSER BLACK- BACKED GULL at Wreck Pond Jan 1, a first-winter BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE at Shark River Inlet Dec 30, a ROYAL TERN at Manasquan Inlet Dec 29, and a fly-by RAZORBILL off Belmar Dec 30.

Barnegat Light State Park hosted 150+ COMMON EIDERS, an immature male KING EIDER, and 30+ HARLEQUIN DUCKS over the weekend. Other birds noted there included a BROWN PELICAN Dec 29 & Jan 3, a very late ROYAL TERN Dec 31, and a belated LAPLAND LONGSPUR Dec 27.

A birder hitching a ride on a party boat Jan 3 out of Barnegat Inlet traveled about 60-65 miles offshore observed 2 NORTHERN FULMARS, LITTLE GULL, 2 large alcid sp (possibly murres), 3 ATLANTIC PUFFINS, 45 DOVEKIES, and 35 RED PHALAROPES.

A wintering flock of shorebirds at Brigantine Island/Absecon Inlet this week included 9 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, numbers of AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS, "Western" WILLETS, MARBLED GODWITS, DUNLIN, and BLACK- BELLIED PLOVER. Also there was an AMERICAN BITTERN. To view the godwits and other shorebirds take Rte 30 east into Atlantic City and follow the signs for Brigantine Island. The birds are usually seen on the mudflats west of Atlantic-Brigantine Dr (Rte 87) shortly after crossing the Absecon Channel Bridge. There are two one-block long side streets on the western side of the road that offer good viewing. The best times are a few hours before or after high tide. The birds are also sometimes found east of the bridge. To reach that location cross the bridge over Absecon Channel and go a half-mile to the first traffic light. Turn right and go one block to Lagoon Dr. Turn right on Lagoon and follow it until it ends at a sandy road. Park here and walk out to the beach (DeLorme P. 85, B-23).

An immature GREAT CORMORANT was noted at the Budd Lake swimming beach Dec 31.

In Sussex County the Layton NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen again Dec 28 & Jan 3 near the intersection of Rtes 615 & 640 (DeLorme P. 18, I-10).

Two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continue this week in Bergen County. An adult present since early November remains at the Ridgewood duck pond on the north side of East Ridgewood Ave between Paramus Rd and Pershing Ave. Park in the lot between Areas B & C; the bird is active in the area between the restrooms and the pavilion. A second RED- HEADED WOODPECKER was noted at Saddle River County Park, Dunkerhook section at mile marker 1.8 of the Saddle River Trail.


The Long Branch CBC Dec 30 recorded 114 species including a count first Black Rail in a marsh at Shark River Estuary, ICELAND GULL, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, VESPER SPARROW, 2 BALTIMORE ORIOLES, and RUSTY BLACKBIRD.

The Barnegat CBC Dec 31 tallied 131 species including multiple VIRGINIA RAILS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, DOWITCHER sp., Barn Owl, Long- eared Owl, a Short-eared Owl at Cedar Run Dock Rd, 3 Sedge Wrens, Nashville Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler (the latter two at Manahawkin WMA), Rusty Blackbird, and Purple Finch.

The Trenton Marsh CBC total Dec 30 was in the high 80's with highlights being a Greater White-fronted Goose and Short-eared Owl near Rte 195 at Crosswicks Creek.

The Raritan Estuary Count had 95 species including Black Brant at South Amboy, Bald Eagle and Horned Larks at the Edgeboro Landfill, Barn Owl and American Woodcock at Raritan Center.

The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in New Jersey compiled by Scott Barnes and Pete Bacinski. To report birds please call 732-872-2500. Reports of Review List Species (photos, field sketches, and/or written documentation) go to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman NJ 08558. Thanks for calling and reporting.

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