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Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 2/3/2005
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society for Thursday February 3, 2005 with reports of THICK-BILLED MURRE, BLACK BRANT, RED-NECKED GREBE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, seasonal and local reports of interest and announcements.

Two THICK-BILLED MURRES were found off Sandy Hook's fee plaza Jan 29, seen from both a boat and from shore. Also at the hook that day were 2 ICELAND GULLS, and single RAZORBILLS off B-lot and Gunnison Beach. A RED-NECKED GREBE and 30 SNOW BUNTINGS were off Gunnison Beach Jan 30. The drake EURASIAN WIGEON was found again in the bay off SHBO Feb 1-2. Check the sightings log there for daily reports.

Another THICK-BILLED MURRE was discovered off Pullman Ave in the Elberon section of Long Branch Jan 29-30. Two THICK-BILLED MURRES were found there Feb 2. A male COMMON EIDER was noted there this week. Pullman Ave is three blocks south of Lake Takanassee on Ocean Ave.

The "inshore pelagic" from Belmar Jan 29 recorded 4 THICK-BILLED MURRES, including the 2 off Sandy Hook and singles off Monmouth Beach and Ocean Grove. Other sightings from that trip included 2 RED-NECKED GREBES, a BLACK-HEADED GULL off Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch, 3 ICELAND GULLS, and 7 RAZORBILLS.

One THICK-BILLED MURRE at Barnegat Light State Park Jan 28 increased to 3 there Feb 2. Also noted in Barnegat Inlet this week were up to 4 KING EIDERS, 2-3 COMMON EIDERS, HARLEQUIN DUCKS, RAZORBILL, and 125 SNOW BUNTINGS.

Manahawkin WMA along Stafford Ave hosted 7 SHORT-EARED OWLS, 4 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, 25 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, and 6 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS Feb 1-2.

U to 3 RAZORBILLS and an ICELAND GULL were seen at Manasquan Inlet this week. Shark River Estuary hosted the drake EURASIAN WIGEON, seen Feb 1 at the intersection of Concourse and Boston, 2 REDHEADS, a first-year BLACK-HEADED GULL, and 2 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS Jan 29-30.

Seven RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were found at Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest behind the visitor center Jan 30. Also in Burlington County were an impressive 75 GREAT CORMORANTS on the Delaware River at Pennsauken Creek and an ICELAND GULL at National Park.

The marshes and wetlands around Sayreville/South Amboy produced 30 GREAT CORMORANTS, BALD EAGLE, 4-6 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, a first-winter ICELAND GULL, and an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Jan 30. Access is off of Main St (Rte 535) by turning north on McArthur and left on Canal (DeLorme P. 37, L-24 & K-25).

A BLACK BRANT was found at South Amboy Waterfront Park Feb 2 near the cul-de-sac along with an adult GLAUCOUS GULL in the bay. Also present there and at nearby Conaskonk Point were 20,000 GREATER SCAUP, 1200+ COMMON GOLDENEYE, and hundreds of other diving ducks. A free "Where to Bird Along Raritan Bay" map is available at SHBO or on our website.

Two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continue at the end of Pleasant Plains Rd in the Great Swamp NWR. The NORTHERN SHRIKE continues to be seen there sporadically as well, with the last report Jan 31. The bird was in a hedgerow just past the house opposite the friends of Great Swamp building, heading towards the rookery.

Six GREAT CORMORANTS were found at Round Valley Reservoir Feb 1. Also in Hunterdon County were 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS at Solberg Airport in Readington. Look for the birds from either Lightfield or Thor Solberg Rds (DeLorme P. 36, D & E 2).

The grasslands along Oberly Rd in Alpha contained 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS, 100+ HORNED LARKS, and 1-2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS Jan 29-30. Nearby Merrill Creek Reservoir had 4 REDHEADS Jan 30.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE has been present in Sandyston Twp., Sussex Co. Jan 28-29 at the intersection of Rtes. 640 and 615 between Layton and Bevans (DeLorme P. 18, I-10).

The Hackensack Meadowlands this week hosted 8 GREAT CORMORANTS, an adult BALD EAGLE, and up to 9 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Space is available on the March 6 pelagic out of Cape May, targeting alcids, gulls, and other late-winter seabirds. For information please call Sea Life Paulagics at 215-234-6805 or visit their website at http://www.paulagics.com

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

 
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