Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 12/1/2005
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday December 1, 2005 with reports of WESTERN GREBE, RUFOUS/ ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD, BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, LITTLE GULL, seasonal and local reports of interest, and announcements.

A WESTERN GREBE, probably a returning bird, was discovered in Raritan Bay off South Amboy Nov 23-25. Look for the bird at the waterfront park in South Amboy. A BLACK BRANT was present on the athletic fields there and a first-winter BLACK-HEADED GULL was along the shoreline, both Nov 28. A LITTLE GULL was found near the creek mouth east of the park Nov 30. Details can be found at the NJAS website at http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/SHBO/RaritanBirding.html

A BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD was found at a residence in Barnegat Light Twp. Nov 22-27; no reports since. At nearby Barnegat Light State Park a 2nd year male COMMON EIDER, up to 30 HARLEQUIN DUCKS, and 88 PURPLE SANDPIPERS were noted over the weekend.

The immature RUFOUS/ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD in Verga, Gloucester County continues through at least Nov 28. The homeowner is willing to have birders visit-please be considerate and discreet when parking and viewing the bird. From Rte 295 south take exit 23. At the top of the ramp, turn right onto Hessian. Make the next right onto Pedan in about 1/10 of a mile, then the next right onto Brewer. The house is the second on the right, with a white picket fence (address is 1076 Brewer Ave). Walk up the driveway to the backyard. The feeder is hanging from the roof of the porch. Also check the flowers in the yard for the bird (DeLorme P. 54, F-5).

The AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN was reported again this week at Brigantine NWR. Also there this week were up to 210 TUNDRA SWANS, 2 AMERICAN BITTERNS, and several SNOW BUNTINGS. Nearby Leed's Point Rd had 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and a LONG-EARED OWL Nov 23 and at Mott's Creek Rd there were 79 TUNDRA SWANS and 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS the same day.

Island Beach State Park Nov 27 had an exceptional count of 32 REDHEADS and a flock of 28 SNOW BUNTINGS.

North Shore reports were of a RAZORBILL off Pullman Ave in Elberon, 5 TUNDRA SWANS and 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL in Shark River Estuary; all Nov 25.

A drake EURASIAN WIGEON was noted again in Rumson in a pond near the intersection of Navesink Ave and Hartshorne Rd Nov 29.

Sandy Hook sightings this week included 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS and 30 SNOW BUNTINGS between the end of the fisherman's trail and north beach Nov 25. Another LAPLAND LONGSPUR was with a flock of 75 SNOW BUNTINGS, 20 HORNED LARKS, and an AMERICAN PIPIT south of north beach pavilion Nov 30. A large flock of BLACK SCOTERS, SURF SCOTERS, and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS remains in the ocean off C-lot this week. A free, detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO; check the sightings log there for daily reports.

An immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues through Nov 28 at Garret Mountain on the upper road opposite the horse stables.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was found on Swartswood Lake Nov 26-30. Look for the bird on the Rte 619 side near the boat launch and Dove Island Rd. A basic-plumaged LITTLE GULL was found there Nov 28. Also in Sussex County was a first-year ICELAND GULL at the southwest corner of Culver's Lake Nov 27. Possibly the same Iceland Gull was noted at the Sussex County Landfill off Rte 94-see ANNOUNCEMENTS for how to bird the landfill.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was noted on Merrill Creek Reservoir Nov 27.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: See Life Paulagics is running an 8-hour pelagic Christmas Count out of Belmar NJ on Friday December 30. Targets are alcids, gulls, and other winter seabirds. Call 215-234-6805 or see their website at http://www.paulagics.com for more information.

Another pelagic is scheduled for Dec 4 out of Barnegat Inlet for alcids and other winter seabirds. Contact Focus on Nature Tours at 1-800-721-9986 or http://www.focusonnature.com

Birders are still allowed access to the Sussex County Landfill. Birders are requested to follow these guidelines when visiting: To bird the landfill, drive straight in past the new booth staying to the far right. At the stop sign turn right and go to another stop sign. Go straight through on the dirt road about 50 feet and trun left into a grassy/weedy area to park. Alternately you can park straight ahead along the dirt road well past where the trucks go up the hill. DO NOT park along the chain link fence, as was done previously. You can walk up the dirt road where the trucks go as far as where they turn in to the landfill and bird from there. DO NOT go on top of the old landfill. You can also park at the administration building (first left after you come in off Rte 94). Walk back up toward Rte 94 and go left by the orange fire hydrant. This take you to an overlook of the landfill that is a better access point during muddy or snow-covered road conditions. It also keeps you away from the trucks and dust. The landfill is open from 7 am-2pm Mon-Sat.

The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in New Jersey. To report birds please call 732-872-2500. Observers are requested to submit documentation (photos, field sketches, written descriptions) of Review List species to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman NJ 08558. Thanks for calling and reporting.

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