This is the Voice of NJ Audubon for Wed March 14 with reports of Review List ROSS'S GOOSE, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE and other reports of SANDHILL CRANE, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, COMMON EIDER, NORTHERN SHRIKE, SNOWY OWL and SHORT-EARED OWL, waterfowl reports, HARLEQUINS, local reports and seasonal arrivals.
A white ROSS'S GOOSE was at Sharptown-Auburn Road in Salem County March 8. Some of the SANDHILL CRANES continue at Bostwick Lake on the Salem-Cumberland line. A COMMON EIDER was at Stone Harbor Point March 10 and a EURASIAN WIGEON was at the Madison Avenue pond in Cape May. Two EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL were in the NW corner of Brig March 8. The 18 HARLEQUINS continue at Barnegat Light.
Sandy Hook was lively this week: March 7 the BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was at Horseshoe Cove and 2 WHITE PELICANS and 2 alcids (sp.) were flybys on the ocean. The SNOWY OWL was still present March 11 at the Hook in the E lot area and a SHORT-EAR was seen flying over him! A PHOEBE and several hundreds of WAXWINGS were at the Hook March 11 and the decent hawk flight included RED-SHOULDERS, ACCIPITERS and MERLIN. Up to 4 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at the Hook this week and another at Laurence Harbor March 10.
Among the many highlights reported this week top honors go to the 35,000 SNOW GEESE at Merrill Creek on the ice March 10-12, sounding like a train! Also there March 12, RED-NECKED GREBES and HORNED GREBES, 600+ PINTAILS on the ice and lots of other ducks. Waterfowl reports were many and included 16 spp on Lake Parsippany March 11-12 incl. REDHEADS and 300 RING-NECKS; 16 spp on Assunpink, including spectacular flocks of COMMON MERGANSER; and a local gem was the 17 HOODED MERGANSERS on the pond in Roosevelt Park in Menlo Park. Two REDHEADS are at Oceanic Bridge, in Locust.
The SNOWY OWL continues at Liberty State Park; and another gem this week was the angler in his boat at Caven Pier who spied a LONG-EARED OWL roosting under the pier! A NORTHERN SHRIKE was on Pleasant Plains Road at the heronry March 11; also there lots of WOOD DUCK, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, PINTAIL and WIGEON. The owl/hawk fest at River Road/567/Opie Road in Neshanic continues unabated, with up to 9 SHORT-EARS at least, plus ROUGH-LEG, HARRIER, BARN OWL, GREAT HORNED OWL, RED-TAILS and KESTRELS, not to mention WHITE-CROWNS and SNIPE nearby-- another highlight one observer described as an optics display with 15 birders lined up for the performance! Reach it from 206 via Rte 514 or from 202 via Pleasant Run Road. ROUGH-LEGS were also reported this week on Rattlesnake Road in Bedminster and at Solberg Airport.
Moving this week were GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, TREE SWALLOW, FOX SPARROW, WOODCOCK (the best was a Woodcock in a building in Avenel!), MEADOWLARK, KINGFISHER and SNIPE.
The Voice of NJ Audubon is a weekly report on birding in New Jersey. To report, please call 908-766-5787 or fax 908-766-7775. Documentation of Review List species goes to NJBRC, 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman 08558. Good birding and thanks for calling, reporting and surfing.