Voice of New Jersey Audubon - 8/21/2008
This is Scott Barnes with the Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society for Thursday August 21, 2008 with reports of WHITE IBIS, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, MOURNING WARBLER, LARK SPARROW, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, seasonal and local reports of interest. Most locations mentioned in this report can be found in Bill Boyle's "A Bird Finding Guide to New Jersey" available at NJ Audubon bookstores.

At Brigantine NWR the elusive immature WHITE IBIS reappeared in the gull pond Aug 19. Brig hosted 22 species of shorebirds Aug 16 including 2 MARBLED GODWITS, 50+ WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 30 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, 12 STILT SANDPIPERS, 3 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, and RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. A LARK SPARROW was observed along the auto tour road near Jen's Trail Aug 16. One or two immature/female type YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS have been reported along the dikes in the RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD flock. Also at Brig this week were LEAST BITTERN near the gull pond tower, AMERICAN BITTERN, 2 TRICOLORED HERONS, CATTLE EGRET, the long-staying AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN and the first-year GLAUCOUS GULL, 18 GULL-BILLED TERNS, 26 CASPIAN TERNS, 6+ BLACK TERNS, 2 BLUE GROSBEAKS, and 12+ BOBOLINKS.

Another immature WHITE IBIS was detected Aug 19-21 at the NJ Meadowlands Harrier Meadow site. This area is normally closed to the public. If you are interested in trying for the bird during normal business hours please call 201-460-1095 for more information on access. Other birds noted at the Meadowlands included AMERICAN BITTERN and CASPIAN TERN.

A BROWN PELICAN was observed from the end of Great Bay Blvd WMA ("Tuckerton") Aug 16.

At Island Beach State Park birds observed while kayaking near the winter anchorage sandbars included HUDSONIAN GODWIT Aug 16 and MARBLED GODWIT Aug 20. Black Tern was observed both days.

Sandy Hook sightings this week included 14 species of shorebirds around the ephemeral pond to the right of the end of the fisherman's trail including 5 PIPING PLOVERS and 3 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, as well as BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 400+ COMMON TERNS, BLACK TERN, and ROYAL TERN. A good passerine flight at the hook Aug 17-18 included 2 BLACK- BILLED CUCKOOS, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER, WARBLING VIREO, 2 CLIFF SWALLOWS, 16 species of warbler including 3 BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS, TENNESSEE WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, 18 BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, 30 AMERICAN REDSTARTS, 2 WORM-EATING WARBLERS, 3 OVENBIRDS, 4 NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, 2 MOURNING WARBLERS, HOODED WARBLER, and 12 CANADA WARBLERS; and 40+ BALTIMORE ORIOLES. A KENTUCKY WARBLER (very rare at the hook) Aug 16 and 2 YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS Aug 19 rounded out the passerine list. Most of the warblers were found in the woods along the "Raccoon Alley" section of the bike path between SHBO and the Boy Scout Camp.

Conaskonk Point yielded an AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, 2 RED KNOTS, and 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS Aug 16. Also there this week were breeding species including CLAPPER RAIL, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, numerous SEASIDE SPARROWS, and SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS. For more information on birding this site see http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/SHBO/Raritanbaybirding

At Great Swamp NWR 30+ COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were observed Aug 16.

Sightings at Spruce Run Reservoir this week included LITTLE BLUE HERON, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, 7 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS and a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at Mulhockaway Creek Aug 20-21, 4-6 CASPIAN TERNS, an impressive 35 BLACK TERNS Aug 21, 2 TENNESSEE WARBLERS, NASHVILLE WARBLER, and 2 MOURNING WARBLERS Aug 20.

Merrill Creek Reservoir hosted 3 CASPIAN TERNS Aug 20.

An UPLAND SANDPIPER was a good find at the Walker Ave Wetlands in Wayne Aug 20.

The Allendale Celery Farm had an early PHILADELPHIA VIREO as well as YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER and WORM-EATING WARBLER Aug 18.


Sandy Hook has no summer entrance fee for birding as long as you park in designated lots. Tell the toll attendant "you are birding and not parking in beach access lots." This allows you to park at the Visitor Center, Horseshoe Cove, Scout Camp, all Fort Hancock lots, K-lot, and SHBO. Fees are not charged before 7 am and after 5 pm. If you arrive before 7 am an attendant at the Ranger Station will give you a pass that allows you free access to all parking areas. Note that with summer beach traffic and the reconstruction of the Sea Bright- Highlands bridge it is advisable to allow additional time to travel to and from Sandy Hook.

The Voice of New Jersey Audubon Society is a weekly report on birding in New Jersey. To report birds please call 732-872-2500. Reports of Review List Species (photos, field sketches, and/or written documentation) go to the New Jersey Bird Records Committee at 14 Crown Drive, Warren NJ 07059. Thanks for reading and reporting.

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