This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday December 19, 2013 with reports of EARED GREBE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, SNOWY OWL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, seasonal/local reports of interest, and announcements.
Several Christmas Bird Counts took place last weekend; results follow.
The Great Swamp NWR CBC found 84 species including a count-first RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD at a feeder in Fanwood, CANVASBACK, LONG-EARED OWL, 5 BARRED OWLS, and 21 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS.
The Sandy Hook CBC Dec 14 recorded 91 species including count-first RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD in Middletown and NASHVILLE WARBLER at Sandy Hook's salt pond. Also found were RED-NECKED GREBE, BALD EAGLE, 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS, PALM WARBLER, and BALTIMORE ORIOLE.
The Oceanville CBC Dec 14 tallied 117 species including 4 EURASIAN WIGEON in the Danzenbaker (East) pool, LITTLE BLUE HERON, GOLDEN EAGLE, 3 SNOWY OWLS (all at the Brigantine Unit of Forsythe NWR); 27 BALD EAGLES, 160 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS, 17 MARBLED GODWITS, and 74 "Western" WILLETS at Absecon Inlet; 3 EASTERN PHOEBES, and 2 PALM WARBLERS.
The Sussex CBC Dec 15 found 91 species including COMMON LOON, CACKLING GOOSE, REDHEAD, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, MERLIN, 2 GLAUCOUS GULLS at the shopping plaza on Rte 206 in Newton, EASTERN PHOEBE, a NORTHERN SHRIKE along Beaver Dam Rd south of Pelletown Rd in Lafayette, and a LARK SPARROW.
Among the 97 species found in the New Jersey portion of the Lower Hudson CBC Dec 15 were CACKLING GOOSE, 271 CANVASBACKS, REDHEAD, 6 RING-NECKED PHEASANTS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, BARN OWL, 2 SNOWY OWLS, EASTERN PHOEBE, 5 COMMON RAVENS, 2 AMERICAN PIPITS, 7 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, 2 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, 60 FOX SPARROWS, and 4 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.
The NW Hunterdon CBC Dec 15 tallied a record-breaking 100 species including WILSON'S SNIPE, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, and 2 VESPER SPARROWS.
The Princeton CBC Dec 15 found 92 species including 2 CACKLING GEESE, 5 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on Carnegie Lake, PEREGRINE FALCON, 20,000 AMERICAN ROBINS, and a possible YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at Drexel Woods in Lawrence Twp.
Highlights from the Assunpink CBC Dec 15 included 10,000 SNOW GEESE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, and LINCOLN'S SPARROW.
The Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (aka landfill) in Lafayette had LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, and ICELAND GULL Dec 13. Visitors MUST sign in & sign out on the 2nd floor of the Admin building (first left after entering from Rt. 94). Park there or up by the long cement barricades and bird from there or up on the hill close to Rt. 94, where you can see the gulls resting on the roof tops (looking through the trees). Continue out to the water tank past the trailers for a good view of the landfill.
The Ridgewood Duck Pond continues to host 4 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS Dec 13.
A light-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen at Mill Creek Point in the NJ Meadowlands Dec 15 and 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were found at Mill Creek Marsh Dec 19; a dark-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was photographed along Disposal Rd near the DeKorte Environment Center in Lyndhurst Dec 16.
The EARED GREBE continues at Round Valley Reservoir through Dec 14. From the camping/scuba parking lot take the blue trail about a half mile until you see a small cove- look for the bird here. Also in Hunterdon County was an Iceland Gull at Spruce Run Reservoir Dec 14.
A light-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was noted near Glenhurst Meadows in Warren Dec 15. Two ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were noted along Rattlesnake Bridge Rd in Bedminster Twp Dec 18.
A GLAUCOUS GULL and 3 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were noted in Hillsborough Twp, Somerset County along Homestead Rd Dec 17-18. An ICELAND GULL joined the flock Dec 18.
A LAPLAND LONGSPUR found on the Assunpink CBC was seen again Dec 16-17 in a HORNED LARK flock at the horse track along Imlaystown Rd (north) in Mercer County. The area is south of Windsor-Perrineville Rd north of Nurko Rd. This is on the north side of Lake Assunpink.
A RED-NECKED GREBE was seen at Manasquan Inlet Dec 19. Just north, five KING EIDERS (3 first-year males & 2 females) were noted off New York Ave in Sea Girt that day.
A RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD is visiting a feeder at 9 Haines Ave in Medford, Burlington County through Dec 18. Visitors are welcome but must call first. Contact Roger at215-668-2447 to arrange a visit. Also in Burlington County were 3 REDHEADS on Indian Mills Lake Dec 15 and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at Taylor's Refuge Dec 18 .
Four immature male KING EIDERS were noted at Barnegat Light State Park Dec 15 and a SNOWY OWL was there Dec 18.
Sixteen SANDHILL CRANES were found in a Mannington Twp, Salem County Dec 17. The birds were along Rte 45 one and a half miles south of the Mannington MarshBridge. Also in Salem County was a LONG-TAILED DUCK at Parvin State Park Dec 18.
If you are a frequent reader of the VONJA, please consider joining New Jersey Audubon. You can find out more about membership by calling 908-204-8998 or visiting http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionAboutNJAS/JoinNJAudubon.aspx
Visit the New Jersey Audubon eBird portal for feature articles, announcements, and to submit your bird sightings: http://ebird.org/content/nj
Check out the "All Things Birds" blog http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionCenters/SectionAllThingsBirds/AllThingsBirdsBlog.aspx
An eight-hour "inshore" pelagic is scheduled from Belmar is scheduled for Jan 1, searching for Razorbill, Common Murre, other alcids, and gulls. For more information go to http://www.paulagics.com or call 215-234-6805.
The NJ Young Birders Club's next scheduled field trip is to Sandy Hook and the North Shore Saturday January 11. The trip is free for young birders and parent/guardian, but pre-registration is required. For more info see http://njyoungbirders.weebly.com
The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in NJ. To report birds please email sightings AT njaudubon.org. Please submit reports of Review List Species (photos, field sketches, and/or written documentation) to the NJ Bird Records Committee at report AT njbrc.net or 13 Strawberry Lane, Cape May NJ 00824. Good Birding and thanks for reporting.