This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Wednesday December 23, 2009 with reports of BARNACLE GOOSE, WESTERN GREBE, SPOTTED TOWHEE, SANDHILL CRANE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, seasonal and local reports of interest.
The BARNACLE GOOSE, present as a winter resident in Califon, was most recently seen at the "pond" section of the Raritan River opposite the Methodist Church on River Rd Dec 22; best times are often early and late in the day.
The WESTERN GREBE, also a returning bird, was noted off South Amboy's Waterfront Park Dec 18. The BLACK BRANT was present in the pale-bellied BRANT flock there Dec 19. More info for birding this site at http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionCenters/SectionSHBO/SouthAmboy.aspx
The SPOTTED TOWHEE continued at Palmyra Cove through Dec 23. It is most often seen in the area around the southwest corner of "the big pit" near the benches; this area has also been described as near the intersection of the Red-winged Blackbird and Saw-whet trails.
The trio of SANDHILL CRANES was seen as recently as Dec 18 in Franklin Twp. Look for the birds in the fields near the intersection of Weston Canal and Randolph Roads.
The NORTHERN SHRIKE continued this week at DeKorte Environmental Center through Dec 23 along Disposal Road. Please keep in mind that viewing is from the road only and watch out for trucks. It has been viewed repeatedly near the retention pond from the AMVETS carillon in DeKorte.
A NORTHERN SHRIKE was found along Old Mine Rd about 150 yards south of the Calno School Dec 18--this is about 3-4 miles south of Milbrook Village (DeLorme P. 22, D-14).
Round Valley Reservoir Dec 18 hosted 3 GREAT CORMORANTS, 5 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, and a MERLIN.
Sandy Hook hosted 6 COMMON EIDERS and first-year ICELAND GULL Dec 19 just north of Horseshoe Cove. A flock of AMERICAN PIPITS was feeding at Horseshoe Cove Dec 23. A free, detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available; check the sightings log there for daily reports.
The Sussex CBC had 82 species including HORNED GREBE and 2 REDHEADS on Culver's Lake, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, 2 ICELAND GULLS and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on Lake Mohawk, and 120 SNOW BUNTINGS.
The Walnut Valley CBC found 87 species including 4 CACKLING GEESE, GOLDEN EAGLE, NORTHERN SHRIKE (on Old Mine Rd), BROWN THRASHER, and 40 FOX SPARROWS. Also in Warren County were 1,500 SNOW GEESE and 3 TUNDRA SWANS at Merrill Creek Reservoir Dec 22.
The NJ portion of the Lower Hudson CBC Dec 20 had AMERICAN BITTERN, ICELAND GULL, and a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW in Liberty State Park; as well as 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, BARN OWL, 2 LONG-EARED OWLS, 129 SNOW BUNTINGS, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, and 14 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS.
A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continued this week at Lenape Park in Cranford. To look for the bird park in the lot off Kenilworth Blvd and walk on the dike towards Westfield (away from Kenilworth); stop about ten feet past the first sign on the dike and look in the trees to the right.
Waterfowl in the Delaware River off National Park Dec 22 included 157 CANVASBACKS and 2 REDHEADS.
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 e-mail 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.