Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 12/20/2007
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society for Thursday December 20, 2007 with reports of BARNACLE GOOSE, BLACK BRANT, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, NORTHERN SHRIKE, TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, PAINTED BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, seasonal and local reports of interest, and announcements.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was observed at Island Beach State Park Dec 18. The bird was seen opposite the park headquarters building on the north side of the access road to the dump. The PAINTED BUNTING was visiting the nature center's feeders there Dec 14.

The Sandy Hook CBC recorded an all-time high of 114 species including 2 GREAT EGRETS, a SHORT-EARED OWL near north beach pavilion, WESTERN KINGBIRD along the fisherman's trail (still present there Dec 17), 2 NORTHERN SHRIKES including one near north pond, the long-staying TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE around the maintenance buildings at the east end of Randolph Dr, a LINCOLN'S SPARROW in Belford, and a BALTIMORE ORIOLE at Huber Woods. Other birds noted at the hook this week included 3 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and 3 COMMON REDPOLLS Dec 18 and a flock of 8-10 RED CROSSBILLS were adjacent to the boy scout camp parking lot Dec 19. A free, detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO; check the sightings log there for daily bird reports.

A BLACK BRANT was photographed at Griffin Street Park in Monmouth Beach Dec 16.

Two WESTERN KINGBIRDS found during November at Thompson Park in Lincroft reappeared Dec 18-19. The birds have moved to a different location in the park. To reach the spot park at Marlu Lake, walk over the dam and follow the trail as it heads southwest. Cross a large field and continue past an old farmhouse/driveway; the birds have been seen in the sapling tulip poplar stands south of the farmhouse and closer to Swimming River Reservoir. A SHORT-EARED OWL continued at the park this week; look for the bird in the fields along the gravel road to Marlu Lake.

The Oceanville CBC Dec 15 recorded approximately 133 species including 10 COMMON EIDERS, 5 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS around Mott's Creek and Leed's Point, 2 VIRGINIA RAILS, 265 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS, double-digit numbers of MARBLED GODWITS and WESTERN WILLETS (the latter three at the south end of Brigantine Island), an AMERICAN BITTERN and 7 SHORT-EARED OWLS at Mott's Creek, LONG-EARED OWL, EASTERN PHOEBE, and a WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL along Jen's Trail at Brigantine NWR.

In the Salem County, NJ section of the Middletown, DE CBC Dec 16 were LESSER YELLOWLEGS, BARN OWL, LONG-EARED OWL, 2 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS at Money Island Road, a LINCOLN'S SPARROW at Hancock's Bridge.

Highlights at the Great Swamp NWR this week were up to 3 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and 2 NORTHERN SHRIKES along Pleasant Plains Road; one of the Northern Shrikes was seen again Dec 17 & 19 in the field to the left at the left-hand turn on Pleasant Plains Rd or by the ditch at the end of the road. A SHORT-EARED OWL was a fly-by at the heron rookery overlook Dec 18. The Great Swamp CBC Dec 15 recorded an excellent 91 species including a CACKLING GOOSE in Cranford, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, MERLIN, 2 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS at the heronry overlook on Pleasant Plains Rd, the 2 NORTHERN SHRIKES, HORNED LARKS, and AMERICAN PIPITS in several locations.

A BARNACLE GOOSE (origin undetermined) was found in Califon along the South Branch of the Raritan River opposite the church Dec 16 & 18th and was recorded on the Northwest Hunterdon CBC. That count tallied 97 species including GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, ICELAND GULL, and GLAUCOUS GULL at Round Valley Reservoir. Also present in Hunterdon County this week was a CACKLING GOOSE at Assiscong Marsh Dec 18; an ICELAND GULL and 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS at Spruce Run Reservoir Dec 15-16; and a flyover WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL at Amwell Lake Dec 18.

In Sussex County 4 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were detected at Wallkill River NWR Dec 15 and 5 RUFFED GROUSE were found in High Point State Park Dec 18. The Layton NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen again Dec 15: look for the bird near the intersection of Rtes 615 & 540 in Flatbrook-Roy WMA (DeLorme P 18, I-10). At the Sussex County Landfill in Lafayette 2 immature ICELAND GULLS and an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were found Dec 19. Birders MUST check in with the receptionist at the landfill (second floor of the administration building) before birding. From the administration building just off Rte 94, walk back up the road towards Rte 94 and go left up on the hill by the water tank. View the gulls from here. DO NOT walk around any other sections of the landfill.

Birds noted at Liberty State Park this week included RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, and 70 SNOW BUNTINGS, all Dec 17. The NJ portion of the Lower Hudson CBC recorded 82 species including 127 CANVASBACKS, 41 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, BARN OWL, 33 AMERICAN PIPITS, PALM WARBLER, 30 COMMON REDPOLLS, and PINE SISKIN. A SNOWY EGRET was "count week" there.

A COMMON REDPOLL has been visiting feeders at Lorrimer Nature Center in Franklin Lakes this week. Also there sporadically are PURPLE FINCH and PINE SISKIN.

Birds noted at the Allendale Celery Farm Dec 19 included 2 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, PURPLE FINCH, and a small flock of flyover COMMON REDPOLLS.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: A pelagic Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for Jan 4; this eight- hour trip will seek pelagic species including Northern Fulmar, Razorbill, white-winged gulls, and possible Dovekie, Atlantic Puffin, and Black-legged Kittiwake. For more information or to register contact See Life Paulagics at 215-234-6805 or http://www.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. Reports of Review List Species (photos, field sketches, and/or written documentation) go to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman NJ 08558. Thanks for calling and reporting.

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