This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday December 17, 2009 with reports of BARNACLE GOOSE, WESTERN GREBE, SPOTTED TOWHEE, SNOWY OWL, SANDHILL CRANE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, seasonal and local reports of interest.
The Califon BARNACLE GOOSE was seen Dec 15 in a corn stubble field near the intersection of Rte 512 and Young Dr, about one and a half miles east of downtown Califon. It also frequents the "pond" section of the Raritan River in Califon opposite the Methodist Church, most often early or late in the day, most recently Dec 16.
The WESTERN GREBE at South Amboy was seen as recently as Dec 12; look for the bird in the bay off the waterfront park. More info for birding this site at http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionCenters/SectionSHBO/SouthAmboy.aspx
The SPOTTED TOWHEE at Palmyra continued this week through Dec 15. It is most often seen in the area around the southwest corner of "the big pit" near the benches; this area has also been described as near the intersection of the Red-winged Blackbird and Saw-whet trails.
A NORTHERN SHRIKE was discovered in the NJ Meadowlands at DeKorte Environmental Center along Disposal Road Dec 11-17. Please keep in mind that viewing is from the road only and watch out for trucks. On Dec 15 it was viewed on the wire over the retention pond from the AMVETS carillon in DeKorte. Also in the meadowlands were 800 RUDDY DUCKS and all three merganser species in Merhoff Pond and a dark-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK Dec 12 & 14 near the entrance to DeKorte.
A SNOWY OWL was sighted at Liberty State Park Dec 12, viewed to the south of the boat ramp after entering the park. This is likely the same individual that summered in the area this year.
A NORTHERN SHRIKE was viewed from the Heronry overlook at Great Swamp NWR Dec 13. Also there this week were GREAT EGRET, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, and a GOLDEN EAGLE at the Pleasant Plains Bridge Dec 12.
Three SANDHILL CRANES flew over Weston Canal Rd between Randolph & School House Roads in Franklin Twp, Somerset County Dec 15. They were seen around 3 pm on Dec 16 in a field along the west side of Randolph Rd just north of Pierce St.
Sandy Hook sightings Dec 12-13 included 15 COMMON EIDERS, 300+ LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 14 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, a first-year ICELAND GULL off C-lot, a 2nd or 3rd year ICELAND GULL of the fee plaza, 2 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER near north pond, 4 FOX SPARROWS, and 45 SNOW BUNTINGS. A free, detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO; check the sightings log there for daily reports.
Seven AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS, EURASIAN WIGEON, and REDHEAD were noted at Brigantine NWR Dec 10. The EURASIAN WIGEON remained through Dec 12.
Culver's Lake had a LONG-TAILED DUCK, RED-THROATED LOON, and 2 ICELAND GULLS Dec 12.
A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was reported on the back pond at Rosedale Lake Park in Mercer County Dec 12.
Two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continue this week at Lenape Park in Cranford. To look for the birds park in the lot off Kenilworth Blvd and walk on the dike towards Westfield (away from Kenilworth); stop about ten feet past the first sign on the dike and look in the trees to the right.
For recent bird sightings in Cape May and Cumberland counties, visit
Good luck to all Christmas Bird Counts and participants this weekend!
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.