This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday
January 6, 2005 with reports of BLACK BRANT, PACIFIC LOON, WESTERN
GREBE, PAINTED BUNTING, BLACK-HEADED GULL, DOVEKIE, SNOWY OWL, seasonal
and local reports of interest, CBC results, and announcements.
A female PAINTED BUNTING was discovered in the Avenel section of
Woodbridge on the Raritan Estuary CBC Jan 2. From US 1, go east on Rt.
650 to Rt. 514 (Rahway Ave.) and turn right; go about five blocks
south, cross the Conrail track and park in a small park on the right,
near the tennis courts. To look for the bird, walk the railroad tracks
east toward a marshy area of the Woodbridge River. WARNING: please
exercise great caution if walking a 'live' railway line.
Two female BARROW'S GOLDENEYES were found at Sandy Hook's Horseshoe
Cove Jan 2-3. Park at the small median lot north of the ranger station,
walk north and take the service road on the left out to the bay. The
bird is usually with the large (150-200) COMMON GOLDENEYE flock. Up to
12 RAZORBILLS were found off C-lot Jan 3 and a COMMON REDPOLL was noted
near the end of the fisherman's trail feeding with AMERICAN
GOLDFINCHES. A free Birding Map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO;
check the sightings log there for daily reports.
The Raritan Bay WESTERN GREBE was relocated this week off Laurence
Harbor in Old Bridge Township Jan 3; look for the bird from the
waterfront park just east of the Cheesequake Creek drawbridge on Rte 35
(DeLorme P. 38 L-3 & 4). A free "Where to Bird Along Raritan Bay" Map
is available at SHBO or on our website http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/shbo
A first-winter BLACK-HEADED GULL was found at the Shark River marina
Jan 2. The EURASIAN WIGEON continues in the northwest corner of the
estuary off Riverside Drive, often viewed near the Cracker Barrel store
or on the north side of the causeway (DeLorme P. 45, N-16). A large
flight of RAZORBILLS, SURF SCOTERS and BLACK SCOTERS was observed Dec
31-Jan 1 along the north shore from Manasquan Inlet north to Long
Branch. Manasquan and Shark River Inlets each had 10-15 birds feeding,
with many other fly-bys. A DOVEKIE was a fly-by at Manasquan Inlet Dec
31. A RED-NECKED GREBE was in Shark River just west of the drawbridge
and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was on Wreck Pond Dec 31.
The GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE found last week in Holmdel was
relocated on Swimming River Reservoir, viewed from the north side of
Dorbrook Park in Colts Neck Jan 1 (DeLorme P. 44, G-10). Two CACKLING
GEESE were found at nearby Cross Farm Park off Rte 520 in Holmdel Jan 4
(DeLorme P. 44, E-9).
A WESTERN GREBE was reported at Island Beach State Park Jan 1-2 in the
bay off parking area A-6. A SNOWY OWL was found near the south end of
the park Jan 2. Also at Island Beach this week were 3 RED-NECKED GREBES
at the inlet, 9 RAZORBILLS, FOX SPARROW, 2 PURPLE FINCHES, and 130 SNOW
BUNTINGS. In nearby Seaside Park a drake Redhead was noted at the
marina at the end of J Street Jan 1.
Barnegat Light State Park also had a SNOWY OWL (probably the same one
as Island Beach) Jan 1 & 3. Twenty HARLEQUIN DUCKS, COMMON EIDER, 2
KING EIDERS, thousands of SURF SCOTERS and BLACK SCOTERS, and up to 3
RAZORBILLS were found there Jan 2-3.
A PACIFIC LOON was reported from the extreme southern end of Holgate on
the bayside Dec 30 and the SNOWY OWL remained there through Jan 3.
Manahawkin WMA's "bridge to nowhere" (now burned down) hosted 4-5
SHORT-EARED OWLS and 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS Jan 2.
A drake EURASIAN WIGEON was found at Trenton Marsh Dec 31. The bird was
with AMERICAN WIGEON and RING-NECKED DUCK flock in the large marsh just
north of Spring Lake.
The 9 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE continue in the Princeton area,
viewed on Dec 29 at the Millstone River portion of Carnegie Lake
between the aqueduct and US 1 roosting with CANADA GEESE. Also reported
there that day was a BLACK BRANT. These geese have also been seen at
the Princeton University Soccer fields along Washington Rd just west of
US Rte 1.
Five RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continue at the heronry overlook on
Pleasant Plains Road in the Great Swamp this week.
A CACKLING GOOSE was found at the tower outlet at Merrill Creek
Reservoir Jan 3.
An immature GOLDEN EAGLE was soaring over Boonton Reservoir adjacent to
Rte 287 Jan 1.
The CACKLING GOOSE remained at Haledon Reservoir in Franklin Lakes
through Dec 30.
The Pelagic CBC recorded NORTHERN FULMAR, ICELAND GULL, 34 BLACK-LEGGED
KITTIWAKES, 9 DOVEKIES, an impressive 86 RAZORBILLS, and 38 large alcid
The Long Branch CBC had 113 species including GREAT EGRET, GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, 4 REDHEADS, 129 RAZORBILLS, and
The Barnegat CBC found 116 species with highlights of DOVEKIE,
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, SEDGE WREN, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and CHIPPING
The Raritan Estuary CBC tallied 89 species including RED-NECKED GREBE,
CLAPPER RAIL, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and PAINTED BUNTING.
See Life Paulagics is running a special 6 hour trip on January 29 for
inshore alcids. The focus will be inshore reefs and rocks, focusing on
trying to find murres and Black Guillemot. The cost is $70. Call
215-234-6805 or see their web site at http://www.paulagics.com for more
**As the status and distribution of CACKLING GOOSE unfolds in the
state, observers are encouraged to document and report sightings of
this new species to Regional Editors of New Jersey Birds, as well as
reporting them to the VONJAS.
The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in
NewJersey. To report birds please call 732-872-2500. Documentation of
Review List Species goes to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at
91Sycamore Lane, Skillman NJ, 08558. Good birding and thanks for
calling and reporting.