E-mail reports: sightings (at) njaudubon.org
Compilers: Pete Bacinski and Scott Barnes, Sandy Hook Bird Observatory
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday December 15, 2011 with reports of TRUMPETER SWAN, THAYER'S GULL, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, SNOWY OWL, DOVEKIE, ATLANTIC PUFFIN, seasonal and local reports of interest, and announcements.
A pair of possible TRUMPETER SWANS was photographed at Forsythe (Brigantine) NWR Dec 11-12; the birds were seen near the gull pond tower.
An adult THAYER'S GULL was found in Sea Girt on the beach at the intersection of Ocean Ave and Chicago, then relocated to Wreck Pond Dec 13. It was seen again on the sandbar at Wreck Pond Dec 15. Manasquan Inlet sightings this week included a second-cycle LITTLE GULL Dec 8, a first-cycle BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE Dec 10, a RED-NECKED GREBE, an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL and a RAZORBILL all Dec 11. A PARASITIC JAEGER was noted at Shark River Inlet Dec 12.
An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER has been present at the Yellow Brook Tract in Howell Twp, Monmouth County Dec 8-14. The address is 285 Merrick Road in Howell Township. Enter the property via a non-descript driveway (marked Special Access Parking) for an unoccupied yellow house. Continue behind the house to a grass, fenced pasture that serves as an undeveloped parking area. Go through the break in the fence at the north end of the lot, turn right behind the small barn, and follow the trail into the woods. You will pass a number of grassy clearings on the left and sections of snow fence along the property line on your right. After the last stand of pines on your left is a grown-in clearing, now populated with olives, oaks and a few spruce. The bird feeds in this area, especially the north end, often close to the ground. This area is open to deer hunting daily, except Sundays.
Sandy Hook sightings this week included 1-2 RAZORBILLS off the Visitor Center Dec 10-12, two RED-NECKED GREBES off the Visitor Center Dec 12 and 4 RED-NECKED GREBES off Guardian Park Dec 13, 80+ WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, a "one-hour wonder" SNOWY OWL at Gunnison Beach Dec 11, 42 HORNED LARKS, an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER in the bowl, and 190 SNOW BUNTINGS.
Five SANDHILL CRANES continue this week through Dec 13 in Franklin Twp, Somerset Co. The birds were seen at the intersection of Weston & Mettlar Roads Dec 8 and in a cornfield along Randolph Rd Dec 11 & 13. A BRANT was among a small flock of CANADA GEESE along Randolph Rd Dec 11.
The GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was seen again at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater Dec 13-15. Also in Bridgewater, a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues at North Branch Park this week.
Another GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was photographed at Terhune Park along River Rd in Teaneck Dec 13. Also in Bergen County, the female EURASIAN WIGEON continues at Darlington Lake in Mahwah through Dec 10.
The Merrill Creek SNOWY OWL continues to be seen below the dam through Dec 11.
A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was discovered at Huber Woods Environmental Center Dec 12.
A BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen at Lefante Way near the Bayonne Golf Club Dec 9.
Hatfield Swamp in Essex County had a very late LEAST FLYCATCHER Dec 8-9; also there were RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, WILSON'S SNIPE, COMMON RAVEN, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, and 25 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.
Two female KING EIDERS were noted among the sea duck flock at Barnegat Light State Park Dec 10 and a PARASITIC JAEGER was detected there Dec 12.
Birders on a wreck fishing trip 60 miles east of Manasquan Inlet Dec 9 found MANX SHEARWATER, 17 NORTHERN FULMARS, 2 GREAT SHEARWATERS, 9 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, 127 DOVEKIES, ATLANTIC PUFFIN, and 2 RAZORBILLS. Other birders in the same area Dec 14 tallied 21 NORTHERN FULMARS, GREAT SHEARWATER, 6 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, 181 DOVEKIES, and an ATLANTIC PUFFIN.
A birder working on a fishing boat Dec 13 found 3 COMMON MURRES three miles offshore of Point Pleasant Beach.
An eight-hour nearshore pelagic trip is scheduled from Belmar on Jan 15, 2012 targeting Razorbill, Common Murre, other alcids, Black-legged Kittiwake, and other gulls. For more information or to register contact See Life Paulagics at 215-234-6805 or info at paulagics.com
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 email 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.