Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 2/2/2006
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday February 2, 2006 with report of BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, MARBLED GODWIT, NORTHERN SHRIKE, seasonal and local reports of interest, and announcements.

Up to 2 female BARROW'S GOLDENEYES were observed in Sandy Hook's Horseshoe Cove this week. Park at the small median parking lot north of the Sandy Hook Ranger Station (where a drab BALTIMORE ORIOLE was noted Jan 29), walk north and take the service road on the left out to the bay; the birds are usually among the COMMON GOLDENEYE flock here. Up to 20 REDHEADS continue in Spermaceti Cove with a few thousand GREATER SCAUP; the drake EURASIAN WIGEON and wintering GREAT EGRET were also noted there Jan 29. A RAZORBILL was off F-lot Jan 29. Other birds noted at the hook this week were 1-2 MERLINS near dusk on telephone poles by the holly forest, a CLAPPER RAIL at Spermaceti Cove, and 25+ SNOW BUNTINGS.

The drake EURASIAN WIGEON remains at Little Silver Lake in Point Pleasant Beach through Feb 1. A RAZORBILL was found at Manasquan Inlet Jan 29.

Barnegat Light continues to host unprecedented numbers of COMMON EIDERS with 200 birds tallied Jan 30. Also present were 32 HARLEQUIN DUCKS, 300 SURF SCOTERS, 200 BLACK SCOTERS, 2 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 500 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 30+ PURPLE SANDPIPERS, and RAZORBILL.

Atlantic County reports this week included 1-3 SHORT-EARED OWLS and 2 AMERICAN BITTERNS at Mott's Creek at dusk Jan 29. At nearby Leeds Point Rd 3-4 dark morph and 1 light-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, 2 BALD EAGLES, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, and 6 FOX SPARROWS were tallied Jan 28. Brigantine NWR Jan 28 hosted 40+ TUNDRA SWANS. At Brigantine Island Jan 28 5+ MARBLED GODWITS, 12+ "Western" WILLETS, and 20 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were noted.

A SEDGE WREN was detected at the observation platform at the end of Money Island Rd in Salem County Jan 30.

A CACKLING GOOSE was noted at Turn Mill Pond at Collier's Mills WMA Jan 28. Also there was a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (rare that far south) and 10 PURPLE FINCHES.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE continues in the Holmdel area, most recently noted Jan 29 at the Long Bridge Rd causeway over Swimming River Reservoir (DeLorme P. 44 F-9) and at the Holmdel Village Elementary School fields in the afternoon.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, 10,000 SNOW GEESE, and 4-5 REDHEADS highlighted birds at Merrill Creek Reservoir Jan 28-29.

Two RED-NECKED GREBES continued through at least Jan 30 at Round Valley Reservoir.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was among Horned Larks at Oberly Rd near Alpha Feb 1.

The NORTHERN SHRIKE continues near Layton in Sussex County through Feb 1. Look for the bird at the corner of Rtes 615 & 640 (DeLorme P. 18, I-11). Two CACKLING GEESE were noted Feb 2 at the Sussex County Library/Homestead Pond.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was found again in Fredon. Take Rte 94 south to Fairview Hill Road and turn right onto it. Go up a hill, then down a hill. As you descend you'll see the farm below. There are often lots of geese in the fields and on the ponds. If there are lots of geese around sometimes it is best to scope from the down slope of the descending hill. At the bottom of the hill, at the intersection, you can turn right to go to the farm ponds. All of the area is private land. If you want to park and walk the roads, you can turn right at the intersection at the bottom of the hill, take the first left and keep going down the next hill to the Paulinskill Valley Trail where there is a parking lot. Then you can walk back up the hill (DeLorme P. 23, F & G 23).

An immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was found at the Appalachian Trail parking lot along Sunrise Mountain Rd in Stokes State Forest Feb 2. Also in Sussex County at the landfill near Lafayette Jan 27 were 1-2 GLAUCOUS GULLS, ICELAND GULL and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS seen from the water tower area. Two GLAUCOUS GULLS and an ICELAND GULL were noted again Feb 1. Birders are allowed access to the Sussex County Landfill - please follow these guidelines when visiting: To bird the landfill, drive straight in past the new booth staying to the far right. At the stop sign turn right and go to another stop sign. Go straight on the dirt road about 50 feet and turn left into a grassy/ weedy area to park. Alternately you can park straight ahead along the dirt road well past where the trucks go up the hill. DO NOT park along the chain link fence, as was done previously. You can walk up the dirt road where the trucks go as far as where they turn in to the landfill and bird from there. DO NOT go on top of the old landfill. You can also park at the administration building (first left after you come in off Rte 94). Walk back up toward Rte 94 and go left by the orange fire hydrant. This takes you to an overlook of the landfill that is a better access point during muddy or snow-covered road conditions. It also keeps you away from the trucks and dust. The landfill is open from 7 am-2pm Mon-Sat.


See Life Paulagics is running an "inshore pelagic" Feb 12 from Belmar in search of alcids, gulls, and other seabirds along the north jersey coast. Another pelagic is scheduled for March 5 from Cape May in search of Fulmar, alcids, and gulls. For more information on both trips contact See Life Paulagics at http://www.paulagics.com or 215-234-6805.

The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in New Jersey. To report birds please call 732-872-2500. Observers are requested to submit documentation (photos, field sketches, written descriptions) of Review List species to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman NJ 08558. Thanks for calling and reporting.

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