Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 5/19/2005
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society for May 19, 2005 with reports of WILSON'S PLOVER, CURLEW SANDPIPER, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, BLACK-NECKED STILT, MISSISSIPPI KITE, ROSEATE TERN, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, a call for volunteers, and seasonal and local reports of interest.

First, the call for volunteers: RED KNOT populations may have declined by as much as 50 per cent, based on wintering-ground surveys in South America, and the survivors may be developing an alternative migration strategy, due to the decimation of the Horseshoe crab population in Delaware Bay. To help understand this possible shift, the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program is seeking volunteers to survey for RED KNOTS this weekend and the following weekend (May 21-11 and 28-29). A scope is needed. For details see http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/ensp/shorebird/shorebird_docs.htm or contact Amanda Dey at 1-609-259-6962.

The female WILSON'S PLOVER continues at Sandy Hook through May 19 but has relocated to the north end of the Hook. On May 19 it was found to the right of the end of the fisherman's trail accessed from K- lot. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ENTER THE FENCED OFF AREAS OF THE TERN/PLOVER COLONY. A RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was found May 19 at the salt pond. The EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE has been seen sporadically at the hook and in no particular location. Sightings this week have come from the K-lot parking area May 14 & 15, Gunnison Rd May 16, the coal road north of the lighthouse May 17, and near Raccoon Alley May 18. Birders are asked to not stand around the residence on Randolph Road near the water plant; please don't jeopardize future access to this area by aggravating the residents.

Up to 4 ROSEATE TERNS and 2-3 BLACK TERNS have been found this week with most reports coming from the "false hook" between North Beach pavilion and the end of the fisherman's trail and off Bayberry Beach lot. A male SUMMER TANAGER spent May 14 around the garden and another was around the locust grove May 18-19. Very unusual were 3-4 PHILADELPHIA VIREOS at the locust grove and scout camp May 15. A large passerine flight May 14-15 at the Hook contained 23+ species of warbler including MOURNING WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, and BAY- BREASTED WARBLER. Ten GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES and a singing BICKNELL'S THRUSH were detected along the bike path north of the scout camp May 19. Single MOURNING WARBLERS were noted May 17-19. A LEAST BITTERN was found at north pond May 14. A BARRED OWL and 2 WHIP-POOR-WILLS were heard at dusk at the Gunnison lot May 14. The BARRED OWL was heard several times this week near the rusty barn. Six BROWN PELICANS were seen from the observation deck near K-lot May 16. The Hook had a cumulative total of 148 species on May 14. A free, detailed birding map of Sandy Hook is available at SHBO; check the sightings log there for daily reports.

Two CURLEW SANDPIPERS and WHITE-FACED IBIS have been at Nummy Island/ Reed's Beach this week-call the CMBO Hotline for details.

A singing, walking, and generally well-observed CONNECTICUT WARBLER was found at Watchung Reservation May 18 near "the deserted village." There are a few previous spring sight records for this extremely rare migrant. Also there was a KENTUCKY WARBLER May 18-19. From the parking lot at the top of Cataract Hollow Rd. walk down the road approx. 225 yards to a gravel trail on your left. The KENTUCKY was heard from the road and seen along the left side of the gravel trail.

MISSISSIPPI KITES made a few appearances this week: one was observed in the morning over the Eatontown Arboretum May 15 and another was over the entrance to Spruce Run Reservoir the same day at 11 am. Two subadult MISSISSIPPI KITES were over Van Syckles Rd near Spruce Run May 18. Another was observed over Merrill Creek Reservoir May 16 at 10 am. Also at Merrill May 15 was an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER.

Garret Mountain this week hosted large numbers of passerines including multiple OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS, 2 CAPE MAY WARBLERS, MOURNING WARBLER, and a very late migrant NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL May 17. Also of interest a presumed hybrid MOURNING WARBLER x COMMON YELLOWTHROAT has been frequenting the wet area at the north end of Barbour's Pond.

Sightings from Brigantine NWR this week were of the continuing AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, GULL-BILLED TERN & CASPIAN TERN, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, and BLUE GROSBEAK; check the sightings log there for specific locations.

Palmyra hosted VIRGINIA RAIL, 2 GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES, and 18 species of warbler including BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, HOODED WARBLER, and WILSON'S WARBLER May 16.

One or two male PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS are singing along the D&R Canal in Somerset. One cooperative male has been around the footbridge over the canal at the north end of DeMott Lane this week. From the junction of Easton Avenue and DeMott Lane, a long driveway (public access) leads to a parking area close to the footbridge.

At least one BLACK-NECKED STILT was still present May 14 at a pond/ wetland near Allaire State Park. From Allaire head east on Rte 524 and turn right (south) on Hospital Road. About a quarter mile south park at a small dirt lot on the left. Walk the bike path to the west, pass the water pumping plant and look for the pond on the left. Patience may be required as one has a limited view of the pond through the vegetation (DeLorme P. 50, C-11). A very rare spring PHILADELPHIA VIREO and a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER were found in Allaire State Park this week.

A SANDHILL CRANE was found in Medford at the Burlington Institute of Technology May 15. Take Rte 70 eastbound and turn right on Skeets Rd; turn right on Hawkins Rd, first left onto school campus; all the way back to end of parking lot.

The Voice of New Jersey Audubon is a weekly report on birding in New Jersey. To report birds please call 732-872-2500. Reports of Review List Species go to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman NJ 08558. Thanks for calling and reporting.

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