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Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 12/23/2004
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday December 23, 2004 with reports of BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, WESTERN GREBE, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, SNOWY OWL, Christmas Bird Count Results, seasonal and local reports of interest, and announcements.

The female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE returned to Sandy Hook's Horseshoe Cove Dec 18 and was among 110 species counted on the Sandy Hook CBC; also recorded at the hook were COMMON EIDER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, and LAPLAND LONGSPUR. RED-NECKED GREBE and 4 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were reported Dec 19. Check the sightings log at SHBO for daily reports and specific locations.

An adult female SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was discovered on the Assunpink CBC Dec 19 and was seen again Dec 20. Observers saw it perching on parts of the navigation beacon structure north of East Branch Rd. around 11:30-12:30 both days. At the intersection of Eldridge Rd and East Branch Rd (the NJDEP building is on the corner) go east on East Branch Road. After approximately a quarter mile and just past the two farm buildings on the left, turn left on a newly paved service road. Immediately turn right in front of the locked gate on to a dirt road. Park there and walk up the service road to the beacon (DeLorme P. 43, M-17).

The WESTERN GREBE continued in Raritan Bay through Dec 18. The bird is usually out in the bay near the Great Beds Lighthouse. From Rte 35 northbound take the first right on Morgan after the drawbridge and follow to the end at a cul-de-sac. Scan the bay from here. The grebe was most recently seen from Old Bridge Waterfront Park just east of the Cheesequake Creek drawbridge. It has also been seen from South Amboy Waterfront Park. A BLACK BRANT was observed at the latter location Dec 21. Also on Raritan Bay this week were over 20,000 GREATER SCAUP and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Conaskonk Point; ICELAND GULL and 3 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS at Keansburg Beach. More information about birding sites on Raritan Bay is available at http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/SHBO/RaritanBirding.html

The TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE remained at Cedar Run Dock Rd through Dec 18. The best location for this bird has been the four or five cedars just before the bridge on the right as you approach and the wire above. The bird is also seen in the tree line across the marsh. Patience may be required as the bird is sometimes hidden (DeLorme P. 59, D-17). Also there Dec 18 were 5 SHORT-EARED OWLS.

Up to 3 SNOWY OWLS are being seen at the south end of the Holgate Unit of Forsythe NWR through the weekend. Please keep a very respectful distance and don't interfere with the bird's normal activities.

The two EARED GREBES continue at Lake's Bay in Atlantic County through Dec 18. From the intersection of Rte 9 and Rtes 40/322, go east on Rtes 40/322 about a mile to Cordova Ave and turn right. Drive a short distance on Cordova to the bay; look for the birds here (DeLorme P. 71, G-16). They have also been noted from nearby Genoa Ave.

The Lakehurst CBC had 102 species including WESTERN KINGBIRD and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER.

The Oceanville CBC totaled 132 species including Eurasian Wigeon, the Lakes Bay EARED GREBES, 28 WILLETS and 20 MARBLED GODWITS at Brigantine Island, 15 SHORT-EARED OWLS at Mott's Creek Road, and 3 BALTIMORE ORIOLES.

On the Princeton CBC, 12 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were in a flock of Canada Geese on the Princeton University soccer fields west of US Route 1 in Princeton. One of the corporate lawns nearby had a flock containing 12 CACKLING GEESE. Nine of the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were relocated Dec 21 on the east side of Rte 1 just north of Rte 571, viewed on the lawn of Sarnoff Corporation.

The Great Swamp CBC Dec 18 had 28+ RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS in the management area and 140+ RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.

The Northwest Hunterdon CBC tallied 89 species Dec 19 including LONG-TAILED DUCK and 2 RED-NECKED GREBES at Round Valley, LINCOLN'S SPARROW at Spruce Run, and NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL.

The Walnut Valley CBC tallied 85 species including 3 GOLDEN EAGLES and 7 BALD EAGLES; 150 BLACK VULTURES and 100 TURKEY VULTURES in a roost; and a mixed-blackbird roost in Great Meadows of approximately 400,000 birds.

The Sussex CBC had a tentative 88 species including LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, ICELAND GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, a record 14 PILEATED WOODPECKERS, and 2 MARSH WRENS.

The Lower Hudson CBC tallied at least 81 species including 228 CANVASBACKS, 70 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, 2 BARN OWLS, HOUSE WREN, and 4 CHIPPING SPARROWS.

Highlights of the Hackensack-Ridgewood CBC were 14,084 COMMON MERGANSERS, 1,535 RUDDY DUCKS, 17 BALD EAGLES, 2 COMMON RAVENS, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, and 23 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory and Rancocas Nature Center are accepting donations for Tri State Bird Rescue to help their rehabilitation efforts of oiled birds in response to the worst oil spill to hit the Delaware River since 1995. Species affected include waterfowl, herons, and gulls. Many more birds in need of rehabilitation are anticipated in the days and weeks ahead. You can help in the care of these birds by donating the following items: paper towels, cotton swabs (Q-tips), flat bed sheets, bath towels, Ensure (plain vanilla only) and Pedialyte (plain only). Donated items can be dropped off at either center during regular hours. See our website http://www.njaudubon.org/centers for more details.

See Life Paulagics is running a pelagic Christmas Bird Count from Belmar, NJ for winter seabirds. The trip is 8 hours long, which is shorter than usual. The cost is $70 plus an optional $5 CBC fee. Call 215-234-6805 or see their web site at http://www.paulagics.com for more information.

As the status and distribution of CACKLING GOOSE unfolds in the state, observers are encouraged to document and report sightings of this new species to Regional Editors of New Jersey Birds, as well as reporting them to the VONJAS.

The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in New Jersey. To report birds please call 732-872-2500. Documentation of Review List Species goes to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman NJ, 08558. Good birding and thanks for calling and reporting.

 
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