This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon for Thursday February 26, 2015 with reports of PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, PAINTED BUNTING, seasonal and local reports of interest.
If you are a frequent reader of the VONJA, please consider joining New Jersey Audubon. You can find out more about membership by calling 908-204-8998 or visiting http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionAboutNJAS/JoinNJAudubon.aspx
A PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, presumably one of two individuals found earlier this winter around the Southampton area, was photographed at the Burlington County Fairgrounds Feb 21. Also in Burlington County this week were 4 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and up to 5 SHORT-EARED OWLS at the Mercer Sod Farms IBA; 4 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS at the Clarkesville Sod Farm, and 4 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and a SHORT-EARED OWL at Amassa Landing Feb 22.
The BOHEMIAN WAXWING continues this week at Sandy Hook through Feb 25. The bird is most often seen in the campground area just east of Horseshoe Cove. Other reports from Sandy Hook this week included an impressive sea duck flock on the ocean side with an estimated 22,000 GREATER SCAUP, 8,000 SURF SCOTERS, 1,500 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 55,000 BLACK SCOTERS, 20,000 scoter sp., and 3,000 LONG-TAILED DUCKS. Also there were ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at Spermaceti Cove, a VESPER SPARROW at the north end of B-lot, and a LAPLAND LONGSPUR at A-lot.
Sightings along the North Shore this week included a drake KING EIDER at Manasquan Inlet Feb 21, 3 RED-NECKED GREBES, and an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL there Feb 18; two drake EURASIAN WIGEONS, 4 REDHEADS, 17 CANVASBACKS, and an adult ICELAND GULL at Shark River Estuary Feb 23; and a light-morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at Fisherman's Cove Park in Manasquan Boro Feb 21. Two LAPLAND LONGSPURS were detected at the Monmouth Executive Airport in Wall Twp Feb 21.
Three BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were photographed in a backyard in Lavalette, Ocean County Feb 25. The birds did not linger. Another BOHEMIAN WAXWING was found with American Robins and starlings at Island Beach State Park near parking lot #3 Feb 26.
The male PAINTED BUNTING continues to visit a feeder in Andover Borough, Sussex County through this week. The homeowners have asked that anyone who wants to see the bird do so from the Sussex Branch Trail, which runs right along the back edge of their yard. From "downtown" Andover on Route 206 turn on Smith Street at the light in the center of town. There is parking at Borough Hall on the left. Cross Smith St and walk 3/10 of a mile north on the Sussex Branch Trail. You will come to a green house on the right side of the trail with 2 large white pines in the yard. The house is directly across Route 206 from Jensen's Service Center. The bird comes to a feeder hanging on the side porch and rarely feeds on the ground. It comes and goes with a flock of juncos and white-throats and is very skittish.
Additional Sussex County reports this week were of 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and a SHORT-EARED OWL at the Liberty Loop trail at Wallkill River NWR, and an ICELAND GULL and 2 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS at the Sussex County Landfill in Lafayette Feb 24.
Two LAPLAND LONGSPURS, 5 SNOW BUNTINGS, and 100 HORNED LARKS were found along Shades of Death Road in Warren County Feb 18 & 25.
Three ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were noted at the Negri-Nepote Grasslands in Franklin Twp, Somerset County Feb 21. At Duke Island Park, 2 REDHEADS, 2 GREATER SCAUP, and a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were seen this week. Two SANDHILL CRANES were seen at the Manville Causeway in Franklin Twp Feb 25.
Hudson County birds of note this week included WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, LONG-TAILED DUCK, and 4 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus; a RED-NECKED GREBE at Liberty State Park, 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS at Mill Creek Point in the NJ Meadowlands, and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SNOWY OWL, and 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS at Ocean Terminal in Bayonne.
A drake EURASIAN WIGEON was seen at Arthur Kill Park in Union County Feb 22. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was found at Linden's Hawk Rise Sanctuary the same day. More information about Hawk Rise can be found here: http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionHawkRiseSanctuary/Introduction.aspx
Middlesex County sightings were of 3 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Sayreville Marsh; a BLACK-HEADED GULL at South Amboy Feb 21, and single ICELAND GULLS at the Edison Boat Launch Feb 21 and Johnson Park Feb 23.
A RED-NECKED GREBE and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK were found near the Mantoloking Bridge this week.
A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen off Railroad Ave in Elk Twp, Gloucester County Feb 25.
The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in NJ. To report birds please email sightings AT njaudubon.org. Please submit reports of Review List Species (photos, field sketches, and/or written documentation) to the NJ Bird Records Committee at report AT njbrc.net or 13 Strawberry Lane, Cape May NJ 00824. Good Birding and thanks for reporting.