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 22, 2011 with reports of THAYER'S GULL, BLACK GUILLEMOT, TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, SANDHILL CRANE, LITTLE GULL, WESTERN KINGBIRD, seasonal and local reports of interest, CBC highlights, and announcements.
The possible adult THAYER'S GULL continues this week sporadically at Wreck Pond in Spring Lake, Monmouth County, seen most recently on Dec 18. Look for the bird on the sandbar at the east end of the pond. A second-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL was noted there Dec 18.
A BLACK GUILLEMOT was seen off Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch Dec 21.
An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was found at Thompson Park in Lincroft Dec 20-22. Enter the main park entrance and continue past all parking lots and buildings until the road turns to gravel. Continue on the gravel road and park in the Marlu Pond lot. Cross the dam on the paved trail and watch for the bird in the field just across the dam.
Another ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER has been present at the Yellow Brook Tract in Howell Twp, Monmouth County Dec 8-14 and was seen again there Dec 22. 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.
A WESTERN KINGBIRD was discovered at the Clay Pit Creek section of Hartshorne Woods Park in Navesink Dec 17-22. Look for the bird in the field adjacent to (west of) the parking lot or in the taller trees by the creek. A RED CROSSBILL was detected there Dec 18.
A TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was found in a flock of CEDAR WAXWINGS and EASTERN BLUEBIRDS along the Appalachian Trail south of Millbrook Gap Dec 17-20. Hike south approximately one mile from the intersection of the AT with Rte 602. The bird was several hundred yards north of the Catfish Pond Fire Tower along the trail Dec 17 and about a quarter mile south of the fire tower Dec 20. At the north end of Catfish Pond a Northern Shrike was viewed Dec 20.
The SNOWY OWL continues at Merrill Creek Reservoir, usually seen in the rocks below the dam, through Dec 21. Another Snowy Owl was discovered at Sandy Hook Dec 18 but not seen again.
The five SANDHILL CRANES continue in Franklin Twp, Somerset County this week; seen in a field off Wilhousky St (CR 623) between the Millstone River and the D & R Canal Dec 18. At nearby Duke Island Park in Bridgewater, the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE continues through Dec 18.
Another GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE continues through Dec 18 at Foschini Park in Hackensack.
A juvenile RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was noted at the Pole Farm (Mercer County Park NW) near the intersection of the orange and white trails Dec 22.
A EURASIAN WIGEON was found at Forsythe (Brigantine) NWR in the east pool Dec 21.
A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was seen in a HORNED LARK flock along Featherbed Lane near Sharptown, Salem County Dec 20.
Sandy Hook Dec 21 had four RED-NECKED GREBES with 3 in Horseshoe Cove and another off B-lot; an ICELAND GULL was a fly-by at C-lot the same day.
CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT HIGHLIGHTS:
Sandy Hook CBC Dec 17 tallied 109 species including REDHEAD at the Oceanic Bridge, an adult LITTLE GULL off F-lot, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE off E-lot, WESTERN KINGBIRD at Hartshorne Woods, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, and LAPLAND LONGSPUR at K-lot.
Lakehurst CBC Dec 17 tallied 100 species including RED-NECKED GREBE off Lavallette, AMERICAN KESTREL, VIRGINIA RAIL, a RAZORBILL in Manasquan Inlet, and BALTIMORE ORIOLE.
Great Swamp/Watchung Ridge CBC Dec 17 had highlights including 9,296 SNOW GEESE, 3 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS in Lord Stirling Park, COMMON RAVEN, a WILSON'S WARBLER at the Chatham Waster Water Treatment Plant, 160 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, and PURPLE FINCH.
Walnut Valley CBC Dec 17 tallied 86 species including RUFFED GROUSE, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, LONG-EARED OWL, INDIGO BUNTING, and the previously mentioned TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE along the AT.
The New Jersey portion of the Lower Hudson CBC Dec 18 tallied 80 species including AMERICAN BITTERN and COMMON GALLINULE at Kearny Marsh, 2 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.
Sussex CBC Dec 18 tallied 86 species including BLUE-WINGED TEAL, EASTERN PHOEBE, BROWN THRASHER, PINE WARBLER, and 70 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.
Northwest Hunterdon CBC Dec 18 tallied 85 species including a CACKLING GOOSE in Readington Twp, dark morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK in Clinton Twp, 2 COMMON RAVENS and CHIPPING SPARROW in Glen Gardner.
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.