Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 12/31/2008
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society for Wednesday December 31, 2008 with reports of BARNACLE GOOSE, ROUGH- LEGGED HAWK, SNOWY OWL, RAZORBILL, DOVEKIE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, RED CROSSBILL, seasonal and local reports of interest, and announcements. Most locations in this report can be found in Bill Boyle's "A Bird Finding Guide to New Jersey" available at New Jersey Audubon Society Bookstores.

The BARNACLE GOOSE was observed again Dec 25 at Califon, Hunterdon County. Look for the bird at the "pond" section of the South Branch of the Raritan River opposite the Methodist Church in downtown Califon. Best times are early and late in the day; the bird has also been seen with CANADA GOOSE flocks feeding in fields along Rte. 513 at other times.

The NJ Meadowlands continues to be a raptor hotspot this week with 1-2 SNOWY OWLS along Valley Brook Ave, 10+ ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (5 light- morph, 5 dark morph), 3 adult BALD EAGLES, 20+ NORTHERN HARRIERS, 20+ RED-TAILED HAWKS, and AMERICAN KESTREL. Other birds noted this week at the meadowlands included a "Common" GREEN-WINGED TEAL and 60+ CANVASBACKS at DeKorte, BLACK VULTURE and GREAT EGRET at the Richard P. Kane Natural Area, and RUSTY BLACKBIRD at Merhoff Pond.

Wallkill River NWR's Liberty Loop hosted ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and 4+ SHORT-EARED OWLS Dec 26. Also in Sussex County was an ICELAND GULL at the Sussex Landfill Dec 27.

A belated report was received of a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK over Rifle Camp Park Dec 21.

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was found in Essex County Park on the Becker Farm tract at the Roseland/Livingston border (DeLorme P. 31, E-28).

A very late OSPREY was sighted over an unfrozen section of Lake Hopatcong Dec 24.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was noted along Oberly Rd, Alpha Grasslands Dec 26.

Great Swamp NWR had 5-6 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS this week, mostly viewed along Pleasant Plains Rd. The NORTHERN SHRIKE appeared again in the fields south of the heron rookery overlook on Pleasant Plains Rd Dec 26 & 28 and was also seen on the west side of the closed bridge near the gas pipeline Dec 29. An adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was in the dead trees northwest of the heronry overlook Dec 28. Other birds noted in the swamp this week were MERLIN, BARRED OWL, and RUSTY BLACKBIRD.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was found at Glenhurst Meadows (aka Warren Green Acres) Dec 28 & 30.

Highlights from the Raritan Center portion of the Raritan Estuary CBC Dec 28 included GREAT EGRET, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, and 2 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS.

Sandy Hook sightings this week were of a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK over Spermaceti Cove Dec 26, the continuing juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK near k-lot, 2 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES south of B-lot Dec 29, an ORANGE- CROWNED WARBLER and 3 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS at Plum Island Dec 27, and 80+ SNOW BUNTINGS around the end of the fisherman's trail. A free, detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO; check the sightings log there for daily reports.

Two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were noted at Cross Farm Park/Willow Brook Rd in Holmdel Dec 25 (DeLorme P. 44, E-9).

A juvenile NORTHERN GOSHAWK was closely observed in a Farmingdale backyard Dec 23.

Up to 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were noted at "the pole farm," aka Mercer County Park Northwest Dec 27-30.

Franklin Parker Preserve near Chatsworth hosted 10 TUNDRA SWANS, GOLDEN EAGLE, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, MERLIN, 5 PINE WARBLERS, 3 PALM WARBLERS, and 17 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS Dec 27. Three ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were found there Dec 25 and a feeder in Chatsworth hosted 50+ PINE SISKINS.


A DOVEKIE was photographed from a fishing boat 8 miles east of Little Egg Inlet Dec 27.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was discovered along Cedar Run Dock Rd Dec 27.

Barnegat Light State Park hosted 2 COMMON EIDERS, the wintering flock of HARLEQUIN DUCKS, and PURPLE SANDPIPERS Dec 27. Two RAZORBILLS were noted in the inlet Dec 24.


A Pelagic CBC from Belmar is scheduled for January 2, 2009 in search of Razorbill, Dovekie, Black-legged Kittiwake and other "good" gulls. For more information 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 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.

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