Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 12/11/2008
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society for Thursday December 11, 2008 with reports of BARNACLE GOOSE, ROSS'S GOOSE, SNOWY OWL, seasonal and local reports of interest. Most locations in this report can be found in Bill Boyle's "A Bird Finding Guide to New Jersey" available at New Jersey Audubon Society Bookstores.

The BARNACLE GOOSE continues this week in Califon, Hunterdon County. Look for the bird at the "pond" section of the South Branch of the Raritan River opposite the Methodist Church in downtown Califon. Best times are early and late in the day; the bird has also been seen with CANADA GOOSE flocks feeding in fields along Rte. 513 during the day. Also in Hunterdon County was a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE along the South Branch of the Raritan River on Rockafellows Mill Rd near Flemington Dec 8 and a NORTHERN SHRIKE at Spruce Run Reservoir the same day.

Brigantine NWR had 100 TUNDRA SWANS, 3 VIRGINIA RAILS, and a MARBLED GODWIT Dec 6. An immature NORTHERN GANNET was a surprise in the impoundments Dec 9; the bird was hanging around the SNOW GOOSE flock. Just north of the refuge at Chestnut Neck 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and 5 BALD EAGLES were noted the same day.

A SNOWY OWL was observed at Island Beach State Park Dec 7-10. The bird was frequenting the southern edge of park; viewing was from both the Island Beach side as well as looking north from Barnegat Light State Park.

Barnegat Light State Park hosted an immature KING EIDER, 10 COMMON EIDERS, and 22 HARLEQUIN DUCKS Dec 6.

A juvenile BROAD-WINGED HAWK was photographed at Dock Rd in West Creek Dec 8; also there were 4 REDHEADS among several thousand GREATER SCAUP.

A SNOWY OWL has been seen Dec 9-10 on the beach in the Belmar/Avon/ Bradley Beach area between 3rd and 4th Avenues in Belmar and north to LaReine St in Bradley. Other North Shore reports this week included the drake EURASIAN WIGEON at Silver Lake in Belmar, two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS at Sylvan Lake in Bradley Beach and another at Wreck Pond all Dec 6.

A SNOWY OWL was present at Sandy Hook Dec 6-8 at the northern end of Gunnison Beach. A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was found at Gunnison Lot Dec 5. Other birds noted at the hook this week included WINTER WREN, 20 HORNED LARKS, PINE WARBLER, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, FOX SPARROW, and 100+ SNOW BUNTINGS. A free, detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO; check the sightings log there for daily reports.

A ROSS'S GOOSE has been present in Franklin Lakes Dec 5-8. Look for the bird at Parson's Pond off Wykoff Rd and please respect private property while doing so. At the nearby Allendale Celery Farm reports this week included a CACKLING GOOSE Dec 6-7, VIRGINIA RAIL, and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.

Great Swamp NWR hosted a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER Dec 6; both birds were seen near the heron rookery overlook at the end of Pleasant Plains Rd.

Birds noted along Oberly Rd at the Alpha grasslands Dec 9 included a SHORT-EARED OWL, and 200 HORNED LARKS and 20 SNOW BUNTINGS were noted there Dec 7.

Three GOLDEN EAGLES passed Raccoon Ridge Dec 7.

Two COMMON RAVENS were noted over Edison Bog Dec 7.

A belated report was received of a flock of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation Nov 29.

The Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society is a weekly report on birding in New Jersey. To report birds please call 732-872-2500 or e-mail sightings AT njaudubon.org Please submit reports of Review List Species (photos, field sketches, and/or written documentation) to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at 14 Crown Dr, Warren NJ 07059 or report AT njbrc.net Good Birding and thanks for reporting.

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