Sunday, September 17, 2017

Heislerville WMA 9/17--Roseate Spoonbill

Digiscope of Roseate Spoonbill
Still smarting from missing the Roseate Spoonbill of Ocean County a couple of months ago, I was reluctant to chase the bird that has seemingly taken up residence in the Heislerville impoundments for the last week or more, reinforced by the failure of my last chase of a rarity there, the somewhat controversial Little Egret. Still, I couldn't get that old blues tune out of my head--
                                                                       That spoon 
                                                                       That spoon
                                                                       That spooooonbill...
so when Mike suggested we chase it today, I was ready to go.

Heislerville, on the Delaware Bay, is a two Wawa trip from Ocean County and there is no good way to get there. You have to go down the Parkway, cut across west then go north, then go west again and the last stretch of road is reminiscent of Tobacco Road. However, as soon as we hit the impoundment area we saw a few birders on the side of the road. We knew one of them and they had the bird. So, it was just as we wrote it up in the birding playbook. Get there, get the bird, admire bird for 5 minutes, get going. As I don't bird Cumberland County very much and usually only in the spring, I was able to build up my county list there to the even century mark.

But then we continued south to Cape May County. The good thing about getting a rarity early and first is that the pressure on the day is taken off and you if you just sort of putz around and bird here and there it's all right, which is pretty much what we were doing--we did a brief, unsuccessful search for a Wood Stork around Lily Lake--when I got an email from Greg. He had a phalarope at Whitesbog.

To make it more intriguing, it was difficult to say whether it was a Red-necked Phalarope or a Red Phalarope. The latter would have been a year bird for me, both would have been year birds for Mike so we turned around and headed back north--and there is no good way to get to Whitesbog from Cape May so it took an hour and 45 minutes plus another Wawa stop to get there. Only to find out that the bird could not be relocated by a couple of other Whitesbog birders Greg had alerted. Mike and I spent a few hours there scoping the bogs and walking around but the only birds we found were the expected Whitesbog regulars. Again, had we not found our target bird in the morning, there would have been much gnashing of teeth and bemoaning of fate on my part. As it was, it turned out to be what Mike calls a good stretch of the legs.

Now if only the spoonbill would come back to Ocean County.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Brig 9/16--Wilson's Warbler

Before we did our usual two laps around the Wildlife Drive at Brig today, Mike's group took a little walk in the fields and along the old railroad bed. We were surprised to find so many warblers flitting about. You don't usually think of Brig as a warbler hot spot, but today I had 7 species, including a Wilson's Warbler which I was unaware that
A) it was a year bird for me &
B) it is a rarity in Atlantic County.

There might have been two there--a few of us birded the road to the Gull Pond before the start of the trip and a Wilson's was identified, but I didn't count that one because I only saw movement and no field marks. Then later, about 50 yards away as the warbler flies, the group saw another bird, yellowish green on the back, bright yellow on the breast. No stripes. By myself, I might have called it a Yellow Warbler (which we later saw near Lake Dogleg), but better eyes than mine called it a Wilson's and I saw enough of the field marks to be convinced. Oh, those confusing fall warblers. This bird had to be a female. Had it been wearing Wilson's little yarmulke as the males do (appropriately), it would have been a no doubter.

There were more shorebirds there than lately, despite high water levels in the impoundments, including White-rumped Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and a couple of Dunlins, bringing in autumn with them. It took a while, but the group did see one of the continuing Yellow-headed Blackbirds along the east dike. I was probably the last to see it and only because it flew straight at us revealing its yellow foreparts. There was one birder there visiting from Utah and he was racking up the life birds today, but the one true rarity there didn't interest him since it is a backyard bird where he lives.

Ducks seem to be returning, another harbinger of colder weather. Besides the usual Wood Ducks, black ducks, and Mallards, we had both teal, Northern Pintail, a couple of Gadwall and a sleeping hen Hooded Merganser.

I managed 74 species for the day--more were tallied by the group, but a few flying birds I let go because that's all they were to me and a few birds were heard that I didn't hear.
Canada Goose 35
Mute Swan 15
Wood Duck 7
Blue-winged Teal 2
Gadwall 2
Mallard 20
American Black Duck 2
Northern Pintail 4
Green-winged Teal 4
Hooded Merganser 1 Channel side of north dike, sleeping on bank
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 200
Great Blue Heron 9
Great Egret 110
Snowy Egret 90
Tricolored Heron 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 6
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 3
Glossy Ibis 5
Turkey Vulture 2
Osprey 1
Northern Harrier 2
Bald Eagle 1
Clapper Rail 2
American Avocet 1
Black-bellied Plover 1
Semipalmated Plover 3
Stilt Sandpiper 2
Dunlin 2
White-rumped Sandpiper 1
Semipalmated Sandpiper 150
Greater Yellowlegs 20
Willet 2
Lesser Yellowlegs 5
Laughing Gull 300
Herring Gull 50
Great Black-backed Gull 1
Caspian Tern 28
Forster's Tern 200
Royal Tern 1 Heard
Black Skimmer 30
Mourning Dove 8
Chimney Swift 3
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 Heard
Downy Woodpecker 1 Heard
Peregrine Falcon 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
Eastern Kingbird 3
Blue Jay 2 Heard
American Crow 8
Fish Crow 4
Tree Swallow 50
Carolina Chickadee 2 Heard
Tufted Titmouse 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1 Heard, parking lot
Carolina Wren 2 Heard
Gray Catbird 2
European Starling 20
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 2
American Redstart 1
Northern Parula 3
Yellow Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 2
Wilson's Warbler 1 Gray-green back bright yellow breast, female
Seaside Sparrow 1
Savannah Sparrow 6
Song Sparrow 10
Yellow-headed Blackbird 1 Continuing on east dike.
Red-winged Blackbird 125
Boat-tailed Grackle 4
American Goldfinch 3

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sandy Hook 9/15--Connecticut Warbler

I was up at Sandy Hook this morning for one of Scott's "Half Day Friday" trips, but I arrived about an hour earlier so that I could look around the dense thicket that once held Fort Hancock's tennis courts. It's a good warbler spot, but looking for warblers in a large group in a small area can be frustrating. I ran into a couple of friends and we plunged into the vegetation. Specifically, I wanted to find a Connecticut Warbler, a big warbler that skulks on the ground and is notoriously difficult to find (and is often confused with more common warblers like yellowthroats) and for which there is a brief window of about a month in New Jersey to see one. The tennis courts have been hosting one for about a week. One of my pals found the bird, deep in the brush, but I couldn't get on it as it moved mouse-like beneath the leaves. Then the bird flew. I saw its silhouette. I can't count a silhouette.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
With a sigh I gave up and drove down to Guardian Park to start the walk. There weren't nearly as many warblers this time as we walked on the bike path and the Road to Nowhere as compared to Saturday (winds? migration tailing off already?) but we did come across a couple of Yellow-billed Cuckoos, which, with the one I saw at the tennis courts probably broke my personal record for most cuckoos seen in one day.

A walk along the boardwalk at Horseshoe Cove delivered my FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet. We met another birder on the path who reported that he'd seen the CONWA at the courts so Scott decided we should look up there despite the odds being slim. Fifteen or sixteen people started thrashing through the mugwort (and I found out, poison ivy), hunting for the bird. Miraculously someone saw it through the ruins of the hurricane fence that once surround a court. The group dispersed around the area and more and more calls of "There it is" came from various directions. Even more miraculously, I saw the bird. It was very active, walking through the leaf litter, hopping up on low branches, disappearing, reappearing. But I think everyone in the group eventually saw the bird and for at least two people it was a lifer plus someone managed to get a decent photo of it under the low light conditions. I wish I had the photo to show you. For me, it was a three tick bird: Year, County, State. I've seen them in NY a few times, but until today, they've eluded me in Jersey. (Now, if only one would show up in Ocean County).

By this time it was around noon and it was a full half day, but we made one more stop, at Spermaceti Cove at the southern end of the Hook. An American Golden-Plover had been seen there according to one of our informants. We all reconvened at the viewing platform and it didn't long to find the plover. As Scott says, they're probably not really that rare this time of year (Hell, it's the 2nd one I've seen this week), but eBird keeps it as a rarity since it is very easy to call a Black-bellied Plover a Golden. There are enough misidentifications on eBird as it is.

For the day I finished with exactly 40 species; Eastern Kingbird sitting on the wires across the road from the parking lot was the last bird of the day. It's getting late for this species, so any kingbird immediately becomes "interesting" this time of year.

Canada Goose 25
Double-crested Cormorant 9
Great Blue Heron 2 Spermaceti Cove
Great Egret 1 Spermaceti Cove
Snowy Egret 1 Spermaceti Cove
Osprey 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
American Oystercatcher 7 Spermaceti Cove
Black-bellied Plover 11
American Golden-Plover 1 Hint of cap, smaller bill than Black-bellied Plover.
Laughing Gull 15
Herring Gull 10
Great Black-backed Gull 1 Guardian Park
Royal Tern 1 Spermaceti Cove
Mourning Dove 2
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3 One at Tennis Courts, two along bike path
Hairy Woodpecker 1 Heard
Northern Flicker 1 Heard
Peregrine Falcon 1
Eastern Phoebe 4 Heard
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 1
White-eyed Vireo 5
Red-eyed Vireo 1
American Crow 2 Heard
House Wren 1
Carolina Wren 2 Heard
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 Horseshoe Cove. FOS
American Robin 4
Gray Catbird 20
European Starling 15
Cedar Waxwing 20
Northern Waterthrush 1 Tennis Court
Connecticut Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 4
American Redstart 2 Tennis Court. One male, one yellowstart.
Blackpoll Warbler 1 Horseshoe Cove
Eastern Towhee 1
Red-winged Blackbird 2
American Goldfinch 2

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Brig 9/10--Yellow-headed Blackbird

The world's lousiest picture of a
Yellow-headed Blackbirdshot through my windshield
Annoyance. 
Frustration.
Aggravation.
Tempered happiness.

On Friday, Shari and I took a run down to Brig to do a little birding and maybe find the Yellow-headed Blackbirds that had been there for a couple of days. They were, as they usually are when they show up in NJ, associating with a flock of blackbirds and starlings. A roving flock of blackbirds and starlings as we were to discover. The flock would roost in the high reeds and grass on the side of the drive, with some dropping onto the ground to feed. Then a car would flush them and they'd go flying off to another stretch of the drive. Rinse and repeat. Shari caught a glimpse of one of the birds. I didn't. But since I had low expectations for the day we can just check off Annoyance.

Today I went back and today I really wanted the bird. I was prepared, as Adlai Stevenson said in another context, to wait until Hell froze over, to get the bird. I drove up along the south dike almost tot he area where they birds were being seen; I saw a couple of friends with their scopes out. This looked promising. But when I walked up, I heard the dreaded sentence, "It was here five minutes ago." If only I hadn't stopped to talk to that photographer! The flock was actively flying back and forth from the channel into the pool.  I got out my scope and prepared to settle in. What I wasn't prepared for, though, was the flock flying behind us on a one way road. I walked back a couple of hundred yards, but the birds kept moving farther away. I'd have to make a 2nd trip around if I wanted another chance. Frustration. 

American Avocet
I half-heartedly birded the rest of the drive, picking up the usual birds. On the 2nd trip I was creeping up the road, ready to stop and walk once I saw the flock. Of course, no one else was going to walk, so cars continually were flushing the flock and moving it around, but at least it stayed ahead of me. Another birder ahead of me said he'd just seen one of the birds but it had flown with the flock onto an island in the pool. He was putting together his scope while I was checking out the island. Beyond the island I saw a black and white shorebird. I knew from the pattern and size that it was an American Avocet, not considered rare in NJ this time of year, but you don't find a lot of them. My companion was excited; it was only the 2nd avocet he'd seen in NJ. I was amused that I'd found a bird I'd normally be a lot more excited about but now was only a distraction.

Just as we started the to scan, guess what? The flock upped and flew over to the east dike. Why? There weren't any vehicles driving in the impoundment that I could see. So we (another birder had joined us) all got back into our cars and drove around the corner onto the east dike where the flock had settled in. We parked and walked stealthily up the road. Some of the birds dropped out of the tall grass onto the road. We 3 were standing in the middle of the drive. A Jeep was behind us. The guy wasn't wearing binoculars. He was just out for a Sunday drive probably. And we were in his way. He drove through and the flock flew up and reshuffled. Aggravation. 

But perhaps he did us a kindness because then the bird was on the side of the road feeding with a few blackbirds and a starling. Its breast was dull yellow, its face was lighter than the surrounding blackbirds and wasn't streaked like a female or juvenile blackbird. We had our bird. By now there were four of us and the newest addition to our group ran back to her car to get her camera. At the same time she explained to the traffic behind us that basically, we weren't moving, tough. We got semi-decent looks at the bird and then, on their own they moved on up the road. We'd only held up traffic for a few minutes. Tempered Happiness. (Not a life bird, not a state bird, not even a county bird, just a year bird, and not a very pretty example of the species at that).

I drove up the east dike slowly and amazingly refound the bird, picking at the ground on the right side of the road. I took a few shots through my windshield, (above) possibly the worst pictures ever taken at Brig. But you can see enough of the yellow on the bird (probably a juvenile) to confirm the i.d.. At least I can.

The water in the pools is very high--good for ducks, but the ducks aren't back yet, not good for shorebirds, for which it is getting late. For the day I had 49 species plus some dowitchers that through a combination of distance and laziness I just let go.
Canada Goose 35
Mute Swan 3
Wood Duck 2 One in Gull Pond, one in exit pond
Northern Shoveler 9
Mallard 6
American Black Duck 5
Pied-billed Grebe 1 Exit Pond
Double-crested Cormorant 25
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 61
Snowy Egret 41
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 5 roosting in trees of Gull Pond
Glossy Ibis 11
Osprey 1
Bald Eagle 2 Adult at Gull Pond, imm f/o
Clapper Rail 1 Heard east dike
American Avocet 1 South Dike, near turn
Black-bellied Plover 20
Semipalmated Plover 2
Semipalmated Sandpiper 250
Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher 5
Spotted Sandpiper 1 East Dike
Greater Yellowlegs 11
Laughing Gull 300
Herring Gull 100
Caspian Tern 3
Forster's Tern 25
Black Skimmer 6
Mourning Dove 1 Heard
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 Heard
Northern Flicker 3
Peregrine Falcon 1
Eastern Phoebe 1 Picnic tables
White-eyed Vireo 1 Heard
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 2
Fish Crow 1 Heard
Carolina Chickadee 7
Carolina Wren 1 Heard
Gray Catbird 4
European Starling 100
Magnolia Warbler 1 Exit of Jen's Trail
Pine Warbler 5
Chipping Sparrow 4 Parking lot
Song Sparrow 1 East Dike
Northern Cardinal 1 Heard exit ponds
Yellow-headed Blackbird 1
Red-winged Blackbird 140
Boat-tailed Grackle 1 North Dike
American Goldfinch 5
 
Bald Eagle, Gull Pond

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sandy Hook 9/9--Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler

I ran an experiment with Sandy Hook this week though I was virtually positive of the results beforehand. On Thursday I putzed around the Hook all morning and part of the afternoon, covering the Road to Nowhere, the tip area, Spermaceti Cove, and Plum Island. I don't remember if the winds the previous night were propitious for migrants, but I didn't see a warbler the whole time I was there and the most interesting birds I saw were a couple of Black Terns at the northern end. I wound up with 38 species.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher flying away.
Today, Shari & I joined Scott's and Linda's NJA field trip. We covered much of the same area as Thursday, though instead of Road to Nowhere we spent hours around the overgrown tennis courts and gardens. The winds last night apparently brought birds--much chatter on the mailing lists about the radar. So, not surprisingly, warblers were plentiful and on display. And other migrants were around, like Indigo Bunting (F), Scarlet Tanager (F), and our FOY Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. While these birds were all nicely seen, they were not stationery, so photography, especially in the woods where the camera auto-focuses on leaves and twigs instead of bird, was not really practical, as you can see from the photo on the left. Other year birds I didn't even attempt to photograph were the Philadelphia Vireo high in a tree and the flittering, fluttering, Bay-breasted Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler. I have to say I was shocked to find that this was my first BT Blue of the year--how did that one get by me and me not even noticing?

One bird that did sit still, so still that our group passed it by on the way out on the Death March trail to the tip, was a Common Nighthawk, sitting on the rail of the crumbling battery at the beginning of the trek.
Hiding in plain sight: Common Nighthawk
Luckily, on our way back the wonders of modern communications alerted us to its presence.

I had 14 species of warblers, some of them of the "confusing fall" variety, but all of them seen which, I said to Linda, is a lot more satisfying than spring warblers, where you hear a lot of them and let it go at that, which never makes me happy, even though sound and sight count the same. And that's all just fine if you're counting and most of the time I am. But I started out a birdwatcher (now I'm a birder, don't ya know) and I still want to see the bird more than anything else.

So the result of the experiment confirmed the adage: If you want to see good birds, go out with good birders. For the day, I had 67 species (plus a "Traill's Flycatcher), a 76% increase over Thursday.
Canada Goose 25
Mute Swan 3
Double-crested Cormorant 3
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 3
Snowy Egret 4
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 1
Northern Harrier 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
American Oystercatcher 8
Black-bellied Plover 5
Semipalmated Plover 15
Piping Plover 1
Whimbrel 1 Heard
Sanderling 20
Buff-breasted Sandpiper 1 Spermaceti Cove
Semipalmated Sandpiper 4
Willet 2 Spermaceti Cove
Laughing Gull 30
Ring-billed Gull 1
Herring Gull 50
Great Black-backed Gull 30
Caspian Tern 2 Bookending Royal Tern Flock
Royal Tern 15
Rock Pigeon 1
Mourning Dove 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1
Common Nighthawk 1
Belted Kingfisher 2
Merlin 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee 5
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 2 Exact count
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's Flycatcher) 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
White-eyed Vireo 2 Heard
Philadelphia Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 2
American Crow 1 Heard
Tree Swallow 5125 Low est
Black-capped Chickadee 1 Heard
House Wren 2 Heard
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
Cedar Waxwing 4
Ovenbird 1
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 2
Common Yellowthroat 3
American Redstart 6
Cape May Warbler 1
Northern Parula 2
Magnolia Warbler 4
Bay-breasted Warbler 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Blackpoll Warbler 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1 Tennis Court
Black-throated Green Warbler 2
Canada Warbler 1
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Eastern Towhee 1 Heard
Scarlet Tanager 1 Tennis Court
Northern Cardinal 1
Indigo Bunting 1 Plum Island
Red-winged Blackbird 10
American Goldfinch 1


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Adventures in Chasing: Ocean County 9/3--Wood Stork, Red-necked Phalarope

Red-necked Phalarope, New Egypt
Quite a day in Ocean County. It isn't too often that I can list two county lifers in the same day.

Yesterday, early in the morning, there was a text alert from Alex and Karmela that they had 2 Wood Storks down in the Barnegat impoundments. Caveat: they were in a boat. Birds weren't viewable from land. I felt a mixture of regret and relief--regret that I couldn't add this very cool wanderer to my OC list, relief that I didn't have to drag Shari out of bed to go try for it. Instead, we went to Burlington County and added Upland Sandpiper to her year list.

Today I was up in Monmouth County, walking on the Union Transportation Trail, about a quarter mile from my car when Karmela again sent out an alert about the storks--this time they were roosting in a tree and could be viewed (scope necessary) from the cut on Bayshore Drive. I ditched my plan to go look for a Monmouth County uppie and drove 40+ miles down to Barnegat. I missed the Roseate Spoonbill earlier this summer, I didn't want to let this one get away.

When I arrived, a group of birders were standing around and within a minute I saw the two storks--big white lumps in a distant tree, but their dark heads, long bills, and black wing tips were showing, so I knew I wasn't just looking at a couple of egrets. I took some very bad digiscope photos. This is the best of them:
Wood Storks
Not nearly the looks I got at Sandy Hook last month, but then, Sandy Hook isn't in Ocean County.

I got home, feeling pretty good, when my phone started blowing up with alerts and texts: there was a Red-necked Phalarope in the magic cattle fields (to call them pastures would be to insult grass) out in New Egypt. I have a proprietary feeling about those fields, since that's where Shari & I found the Northern Lapwings 4 years ago. I had just stopped there on Friday and noted that the puddles had a few shorebirds in them. Before I was diverted by the Wood Storks, I had planned to stop there again today after looking for uppies. The best laid plans...

I put my boots back on, ran back out to the car, explained to the quizzical neighbors who had just seen me come home that there was a rare bird and in 20 minutes I was out in the fields, which really, really stink, by the way, and the smell clings to your car long after you've left. Red-necked Phalarope is a distinctive looking bird. I knew exactly where to look. The puddles were close by the road. And fortunately there was a birder I knew there, because it took me a long time, with her patient directions, before I could find the bird. Suddenly, after almost random scanning, it popped into my scope view. She left to go for the Wood Storks and I stayed on for a while. The phalarope, despite being white on the flanks and face, disappeared into the mud and shit easily, especially when it went into the water--then its patterned back and black-capped head would blend nicely with surround muck and mire.

Of course, it didn't help when the cattle decided to clomp through the puddle, sending the phalarope off to another part of the field. I thought I'd lost it for good when it came flying back to the same spot. It must really like that puddle. I had digiscoped one photo (above) but now that it was a bit closer, I took out my camera and started taking some shots.

And, naturally, as I was taking photographs of this very active little bird, this stomped into my viewfinder:


And then this guy/gal came to check me out (female longhorns also have horns and I wasn't inclined to peer back and behind). This seemed like a good time to pack it in--especially since some of the cattle were getting through the fence and flopping down on the road

Neither bird was a year bird. But both are very nice additions to my county life list which stands at 282.
After the cattle moved out of the way

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Wrap Up--Mostly Whitesbog

American Golden-Plover, Whitesbog
(digiscope)
August found me at Whitesbog 20 times: A fifteen minute drive to see if any rare shorebirds are around is just too tempting for me, plus I know I'll enjoy the company of the few regulars who make it out there. My best find of the month was the American Golden-Plover I found on the Middle Bog Monday, just as I was getting ready to call it a day.  I regret that it didn't stick for my birding buddies. Other notable rarities this month on the bogs were the Buff-breasted Sandpiper (it, or a couple of others, has been seen off and on since the middle of the month), White-rumped Sandpipers close enough to really study, Short-billed Dowitchers, and Stilt Sandpipers, the last 3 rare for Burlington, a county with way more pines than mud flats. While you don't get the huge numbers of shorebirds you might at Brig (which is good, because sorting through 5000 sandpipers gets old real fast), you do get nice diversity--12 species of shorebirds in a small area is common.


Pied-billed Grebe, Whitesbog
Another cool bird that showed up was Upland Sandpiper, 3 of them, in mowed field of the Mercer Sod Farm (which, perplexingly is in Burlington County). It took me two tries to find them (the first day was a miserably rainy one), but I found them almost immediately on my 2nd try, thin-necked, small-headed, upright sandpipers. It was the first time I've seen the species outside of the Lakehurst jump circle.

Of course, the Wood Stork at Sandy Hook was the highlight of the month. The day I saw it had a semi-holiday vibe to it due to the partial eclipse.

Two species of phalaropes at Brig, along with two species of godwits there were also notable. Yes, I did go to Brig a few times on the weekends--Whitesbog after about 8 o'clock  A.M. on a summer Saturday or Sunday gets a little too busy with the retriever people, the dirt bike people, and the let's drive around the dikes aimlessly people for birding to be productive or pleasant.

For the month I added 7 year birds (2 more than in July) and managed 143 species (30 species of shorebirds!), all but two in NJ. I listed pigeon and House Sparrow on the mean streets of Manhattan.
Green Heron, Whitesbog
Counties birded:
New Jersey: Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Monmouth, Ocean
New York: New York
Species             First Sighting
Snow Goose   Brig
Canada Goose   Whitesbog
Mute Swan   Cape May
Wood Duck   Whitesbog
Blue-winged Teal   Brig
Northern Shoveler   Brig
Mallard   Whitesbog
American Black Duck   Cape May
Northern Pintail   Brig
Green-winged Teal   Whitesbog
Black Scoter   Island Beach
Hooded Merganser   Brig
Northern Bobwhite   Cape May
Wild Turkey   Crestwood Village
Pied-billed Grebe   Whitesbog
Wood Stork   Sandy Hook
Double-crested Cormorant   Island Beach
Brown Pelican   Island Beach
Great Blue Heron   Whitesbog
Great Egret   Whitesbog
Snowy Egret   Island Beach
Little Blue Heron   Brig
Tricolored Heron   Scotch Bonnet
Green Heron   Whitesbog
Black-crowned Night-Heron   Brig
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron   Scotch Bonnet
White Ibis   Brig
Glossy Ibis   Island Beach
Turkey Vulture   Brig
Osprey   Island Beach
Cooper's Hawk   Whitesbog
Bald Eagle   Whitesbog
Red-tailed Hawk   Whitesbog
Clapper Rail   Brig
American Oystercatcher   Island Beach
Black-bellied Plover   Island Beach
American Golden-Plover   Whitesbog
Semipalmated Plover   Island Beach
Piping Plover   Island Beach
Killdeer   Cape May
Upland Sandpiper   Mercer Sod Farm IBA
Whimbrel   Brig
Hudsonian Godwit   Brig
Marbled Godwit   Brig
Ruddy Turnstone   Cape May
Stilt Sandpiper   Brig
Sanderling   Island Beach
Dunlin   Brig
Least Sandpiper   Whitesbog
White-rumped Sandpiper   Brig
Buff-breasted Sandpiper   Whitesbog
Pectoral Sandpiper   Whitesbog
Semipalmated Sandpiper   Island Beach
Western Sandpiper   Brig
Short-billed Dowitcher   Island Beach
Long-billed Dowitcher   Brig
Wilson's Snipe   Whitesbog
Wilson's Phalarope   Brig
Red-necked Phalarope   Brig
Spotted Sandpiper   Whitesbog
Solitary Sandpiper   Whitesbog
Greater Yellowlegs   Whitesbog
Willet   Brig
Lesser Yellowlegs   Whitesbog
Laughing Gull   Island Beach
Ring-billed Gull   Island Beach
Herring Gull   Island Beach
Great Black-backed Gull   Island Beach
Least Tern   Cape May
Gull-billed Tern   Brig
Caspian Tern   Brig
Black Tern   Brig
Common Tern   Island Beach
Forster's Tern   Island Beach
Royal Tern   Island Beach
Black Skimmer   Brig
Rock Pigeon   901 Lexington Ave, New York
Mourning Dove   Whitesbog
Common Nighthawk   35 Sunset Rd
Eastern Whip-poor-will   Whiting WMA
Chimney Swift   Whitesbog
Ruby-throated Hummingbird   35 Sunset Rd
Belted Kingfisher   Cranberry Bogs--Dover Rd
Red-bellied Woodpecker   Whitesbog
Downy Woodpecker   Crestwood Village
Hairy Woodpecker   Brig
Northern Flicker   Cape May
Peregrine Falcon   Brig
Eastern Wood-Pewee   Whitesbog
Least Flycatcher   Whitesbog
Eastern Phoebe   Whitesbog
Great Crested Flycatcher   Whitesbog
Eastern Kingbird   Whitesbog
White-eyed Vireo   Whitesbog
Red-eyed Vireo   Brig
Blue Jay   35 Sunset Rd
American Crow   Cape May
Fish Crow   35 Sunset Rd
Northern Rough-winged Swallow   Whitesbog
Purple Martin   Cape May
Tree Swallow   Whitesbog
Barn Swallow   Whitesbog
Carolina Chickadee   Whitesbog
Tufted Titmouse   Whitesbog
White-breasted Nuthatch   35 Sunset Rd
House Wren   Cape May
Marsh Wren   Brig
Carolina Wren   Cape May
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher   Whitesbog
Eastern Bluebird   Cranberry Bogs--Dover Rd
American Robin   Cape May
Gray Catbird   Whitesbog
Brown Thrasher   Whitesbog
Northern Mockingbird   Cape May
European Starling   35 Sunset Rd
Cedar Waxwing   Whitesbog
Ovenbird   Cranberry Bogs--Dover Rd
Black-and-white Warbler   Whitesbog
Common Yellowthroat   Whitesbog
American Redstart   Brig
Yellow Warbler   Cape May
Pine Warbler   Whitesbog
Prairie Warbler   Whitesbog
Canada Warbler   Whitesbog
Saltmarsh Sparrow   Brig
Seaside Sparrow   Brig
Chipping Sparrow   Whitesbog
Field Sparrow   Cape May
Song Sparrow   Whitesbog
Swamp Sparrow   Whitesbog
Eastern Towhee   Whitesbog
Northern Cardinal   35 Sunset Rd
Blue Grosbeak   Brig
Indigo Bunting   Cape May
Bobolink   Brig
Orchard Oriole   Whitesbog
Red-winged Blackbird   Whitesbog
Brown-headed Cowbird   Whitesbog
Common Grackle   Whitesbog
Boat-tailed Grackle   Island Beach
House Finch   35 Sunset Rd
American Goldfinch   Whitesbog
House Sparrow   485 Lexington Ave, New York