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Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 1/6/2005
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 sp.

The Long Branch CBC had 113 species including GREAT EGRET, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, 4 REDHEADS, 129 RAZORBILLS, and HOUSE WREN.

The Barnegat CBC found 116 species with highlights of DOVEKIE, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, SEDGE WREN, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and CHIPPING SPARROW.

The Raritan Estuary CBC tallied 89 species including RED-NECKED GREBE, CLAPPER RAIL, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and PAINTED BUNTING.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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 information.

**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.

 
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