Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 12/23/1998
This is the Voice of NJ Audubon for Dec 23 with reports of Review List species TUFTED DUCK, PACIFIC LOON, ROSS' GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, count totals and local reports.

A male TUFTED DUCK was at Spermaceti Cove, Sandy Hook with 3,000 scaup Dec. 19. A PACIFIC LOON was observed for an hour at Manasquan Inlet Dec 19, no report since; a RAZORBILL and an ICELAND GULL were there Dec 21. Two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were observed near Exit 8A of NJ Tpke at Dallenbach's Pond at the intersection of 522 and 535 on Dec 19. A ROSS'S GOOSE was at Brig Dec 20.

SHORT-EARED OWLS look good so far this winter: 6 were on Stateline Rd., Pine Island on the NY-NJ border Dec 21; 6 more have been regularly on Cedar Dock Run Rd., off Rte 9 south of Rte 72 along Barnegat Bay, both of these traditional areas; others were seen at the Oyster Creek Inn off Leeds Point Rd and at Manahawkin this week. Local reports of interest are 7 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS lingering at Smith's Creek in Sewaren as of Dec 20, and a report of YELLOWLEGS and DOWITCHER from Jackson Pond in Clark near the Rahway.

Christmas counts so far are high-end, with firsts, highs, big gannet numbers and 3 gnatcatchers on the first weekend! Birds without locations are either private property or lack of info. Sandy Hook Dec 19 had 113, second highest ever, with TUFTED DUCK, GNATCATCHER, GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS, thousands of GANNETS and NORTHERN SHRIKE. Oceanville Dec 19 (no total yet) had ROSS'S GOOSE, 28 MARBLED GODWITS in the usual place on Brigantine Island, and 4,000 GANNETS. The Salem Co. portion of the Middletown DE count had a high 58 RED-THROATED LOONS, NASHVILLE WARBLER on Artificial Island, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD on the Nuke Road and 10 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS.

NW Hunterdon Dec 20 had a good 88 species, with a Selasphorus hummer, a GNATCATCHER, 102 EASTERN SCREECH-OWLS, 2 HOUSE WREN and a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK at a feeder. Princeton Dec 20 had an above average 95, with count-first OSPREY and GNATCATCHER; also GREAT EGRET, BLUE-WINGED TEAL and two N. SHRIKES, one still at Stony Brook-Millstone, and the other at the pole farm (Mercer County Park West; enter from Cold Soil Rd and watch the fields on the left).

Sussex had a record 101 Dec 20, with 7 PINE GROSBEAKS (no info), LESSER BLACK-BACK on Culver, two N. SHRIKES, THRASHERS, AM. BITTERN, BALD EAGLE and SISKIN. Other counts to be reported as received.

The Voice of NJ Audubon is a weekly report on birding in NJ. To report, please call 908-766-5787 or fax 908-766-7775. Report Review List species to the Bird Box at 908-647-2357, and details to NJBRC, 69 Alexander, Princeton 08540. Next regular report Jan 6. Good birding and thanks for calling, faxing, surfing, e-mailing and reporting.

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