Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Was a Productive Month

Our trip to the great Northwest certainly added a slew of birds we'd normally wouldn't have, including a decent number of lifers, but it is the trips to Brigantine and Lakehurst that stand out for me this month. On June 2 at Brig, because we were birding with Pete Bacinski, we totaled about half the species we'd eventually get for the month. At at Lakehurst, a few days later, again with Pete, we got the elusive UPLAND SANDPIPER as well as GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, plus Common Nighthawk, Eastern Meadowlark, and Horned Lark. Those are all birds on any year's wish list.

We had 2 rarities this month. They were rare only because of time of the year--Northern Shoveler and Red-breasted Nuthatch should have moved on by early June.

I've written enough about Alaska this month not to have to rehash it here. There were a lot of BVD's there (Better Views Desired).
White-winged Scoters in Glacier Bay, Alaska
Photo: Shari Zirlin
Counties birded:
Alaska: Juneau, Ketchikan Gateway, Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon, Sitka, Wrangell-Petersburg
British Columbia: Capital, Comox-Strathcona, Cowichan Valley, Mount Waddington
New Jersey: Atlantic, Burlington, Ocean
Washington: King

142 Species for the Month:

Species                     Location
Canada Goose          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Mute Swan          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Wood Duck          Brigantine
American Black Duck          Brigantine
Mallard          Whiting WMA
Northern Shoveler          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
White-winged Scoter          Glacier Bay
Black Scoter          Juneau Harbor
Common Merganser          Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Wild Turkey          35 Sunset Rd
Pacific Loon          Glacier Bay
Common Loon          Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS          Aboard MS Westerdam
NORTHERN FULMAR          Aboard MS Westerdam
LEACH'S STORM-PETREL          Aboard MS Westerdam
Double-crested Cormorant          Brigantine
Pelagic Cormorant          Glacier Bay
Great Blue Heron          Brigantine
Great Egret          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Snowy Egret          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Little Blue Heron          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Cattle Egret          Brigantine
Green Heron          Double Trouble State Park
Black-crowned Night-Heron          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron          Brigantine
Glossy Ibis          Brigantine
White-faced Ibis          Brigantine
Turkey Vulture          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Osprey          Brigantine
Bald Eagle          Lakehurst NAES
Red-tailed Hawk          Whiting WMA
American Kestrel          Lakehurst NAES
Peregrine Falcon          Brigantine
Clapper Rail          Brigantine
Virginia Rail          Brigantine
Common Gallinule          Brigantine
Black-bellied Plover          Brigantine
Semipalmated Plover          Brigantine
Killdeer          Brigantine
American Oystercatcher          Brigantine
Spotted Sandpiper          Brigantine
Greater Yellowlegs          Brigantine
Willet          Brigantine
UPLAND SANDPIPER          Lakehurst NAES
Whimbrel          Brigantine
Semipalmated Sandpiper          Brigantine
White-rumped Sandpiper          Brigantine
Dunlin          Brigantine
Short-billed Dowitcher          Brigantine
Black-legged Kittiwake          Glacier Bay
Bonaparte's Gull          Juneau Harbor
Laughing Gull          Brigantine
Mew Gull          Juneau Harbor
Ring-billed Gull          Brigantine
Herring Gull          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL          North Seattle
Great Black-backed Gull          Brigantine
Least Tern          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Gull-billed Tern          Brigantine
Caspian Tern          Brigantine
Arctic Tern          Glacier Bay
Forster's Tern          Brigantine
Black Skimmer          Brigantine
Common Murre          Glacier Bay
Pigeon Guillemot          Pier 91 Seattle
MARBLED MURRELET          Glacier Bay
CASSIN'S AUKLET          Juan de Fuca Strait
RHINOCEROS AUKLET          Juan de Fuca Strait
TUFTED PUFFIN          Glacier Bay
Rock Pigeon          Juneau--downtown
Mourning Dove          Whiting WMA
Yellow-billed Cuckoo          Wells Mills Park
Common Nighthawk          Lakehurst NAES
CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW          Brigantine
Eastern Whip-poor-will          35 Sunset Rd
Ruby-throated Hummingbird          Crestwood Village
Belted Kingfisher          Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Red-bellied Woodpecker          Brigantine
RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER          Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Downy Woodpecker          Whiting WMA
Northern Flicker          North Seattle
Eastern Wood-Pewee          Whiting WMA
Eastern Phoebe          Whiting WMA
Great Crested Flycatcher          Whiting WMA
Eastern Kingbird          Whiting WMA
Blue Jay          Whiting WMA
American Crow          Brigantine
NORTHWESTERN CROW          Juneau Harbor
Fish Crow          Whiting WMA
Common Raven          Juneau--downtown
Horned Lark          Lakehurst NAES
Purple Martin          Brigantine
Tree Swallow          Whiting WMA
Barn Swallow          Brigantine
Carolina Chickadee          Whiting WMA
Black-capped Chickadee          North Seattle
Chestnut-backed Chickadee          Sitka Nat. Historical Park
Tufted Titmouse          Whiting WMA
Red-breasted Nuthatch          35 Sunset Rd
White-breasted Nuthatch          Whiting WMA
Carolina Wren          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
Bewick's Wren          North Seattle
House Wren          Whiting WMA
Marsh Wren          Brigantine
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher          Whiting WMA
Eastern Bluebird          Whiting WMA
Swainson's Thrush          Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Hermit Thrush          Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Wood Thrush          Wells Mills Park
American Robin          Whiting WMA
Varied Thrush          Mt. Roberts Tramway
Gray Catbird          Whiting WMA
Northern Mockingbird          Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat
European Starling          Brigantine
Cedar Waxwing          Whiting WMA
Ovenbird          Whiting WMA
Black-and-white Warbler          Whiting WMA
Common Yellowthroat          Whiting WMA
Yellow Warbler          Brigantine
Pine Warbler          Whiting WMA
Prairie Warbler          Whiting WMA
Townsend's Warbler          Sitka Nat. Historical Park
Spotted Towhee          North Seattle
Eastern Towhee          Whiting WMA
Chipping Sparrow          Whiting WMA
Field Sparrow          Brigantine
Seaside Sparrow          Brigantine
Song Sparrow          Brigantine
Lincoln's Sparrow          Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Dark-eyed Junco          North Seattle
Northern Cardinal          Whiting WMA
Indigo Bunting          Brigantine
Red-winged Blackbird          Whiting WMA
Eastern Meadowlark          Lakehurst NAES
Common Grackle          Whiting WMA
Boat-tailed Grackle          Brigantine
Brown-headed Cowbird          35 Sunset Rd
Orchard Oriole          Brigantine
House Finch          Whiting WMA
American Goldfinch          Brigantine
House Sparrow          North Seattle
Ketchikan, Alaska
Photo: Shari Zirlin

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Double Trouble--Green Heron

I've seen lots of 'em in New York. I've seen 'em in Delaware, Virginia, and Massachusetts. I've seen 'em coast to coast in California and Florida. I've seen 'em in Puerto Rico. The Bahamas. I've seen 'em in Canada. They're not rare. But until today I had never seen a Green Heron in New Jersey. I don't know how one has eluded me this long.

This morning I took a long walk in Double Trouble State Park. I wanted to be out of the house, doing something I enjoy instead of waiting for the Supreme Court to render its decision on the health care bill. I was coming down Sweetwater Road, scanning the bog's water, when I saw a bird flying like a crow that wasn't a crow. Yellow legs, bluish green back, rusty breast--yes, finally, my first NJ Green Heron.

Every thing else I saw or heard today was an "expected" bird. Still, good to find warblers, especially the Black-and White Warblers which seem particularly active today, as if they were looking for food for their young.

After 2 hours and 20 minutes I was filling out my list in the car. I was happy to have my heron. 10 o'clock. I turned on the radio. A minute or so later I was even happier.

24 species:
Great Egret  1    f/o
Green Heron  1    Bog on Sweetwater Road
Mourning Dove  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
Eastern Kingbird  2
Blue Jay  1    Heard
Barn Swallow  12
Carolina Chickadee  1    Heard
Tufted Titmouse  1    Heard
Carolina Wren  1
Wood Thrush  2    Heard
American Robin  10
Gray Catbird  5
Northern Mockingbird  3
Ovenbird  4    Heard
Black-and-white Warbler  4
Common Yellowthroat  5    Heard
Prairie Warbler  1    Heard
Eastern Towhee  3
Chipping Sparrow  10
Red-winged Blackbird  20
Common Grackle  10
American Goldfinch  5

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wells Mills Park 6/24--Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Ocean County has the best parks system that I can imagine. Each one we go to has a beautiful nature center, good trails, and is impeccably maintained. All the habitats in the county are represented within the system. It is just amazing to me how much acreage has been set aside for parks (and non-development) for a county that doesn't have a huge population. Today, we finally went to Wells Mills Park, where we'd planned to go June 2 until the lure of Brigantine that day pulled us south.

There is an extensive trail system within this park and we walked a couple that ran along the main feature of the park, Wells Mills Reservoir. The exciting bird for the day was Yellow-billed Cuckoo Shari found, first sitting on a log until we followed it up into a tree. There was a possible Black-billed Cuckoo too, but Shari's look wasn't good enough to call and my i.d. was simply "bird."

Still, that was a surprise and seeing Black-and-White Warblers feeding a juvenile was also a good discovery. In all we had 26 species and said what we always seem to say: this place will be great during migration.

Day list:
Canada Goose  6
Turkey Vulture  1
Laughing Gull  1
Mourning Dove  1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  2
Eastern Phoebe  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
Eastern Kingbird  3
Tree Swallow  1
Carolina Chickadee  5
Tufted Titmouse  5
Wood Thrush  1    Heard
American Robin  2
Gray Catbird  6
Ovenbird  5    Heard
Black-and-white Warbler  4
Common Yellowthroat  2    Heard
Pine Warbler  1
Prairie Warbler  1    Heard
Chipping Sparrow  10
Northern Cardinal  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  2
House Finch  1    Could be female or juvenile
American Goldfinch  2    Heard

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Alaska Trip List & Blog Links

Below are links to each day's entry for our cruise to southeast Alaska.
North (Seattle) to Alaska
Aboard MS Westerdam
Glacier Bay
British Columbia

Lists for each state/province:

Great Blue Heron
North Seattle
North Seattle
Caspian Tern
Pier 91
Pigeon Guillemot
Pier 91
Northern Flicker
North Seattle
Black-capped Chickadee
North Seattle
Red-breasted Nuthatch
North Seattle
Bewick's Wren
North Seattle
American Robin
North Seattle
European Starling
North Seattle
Spotted Towhee
North Seattle
Dark-eyed Junco
North Seattle
House Sparrow
North Seattle

British Columbia
Canada Goose
Ogden Point Breakwater
Aboard MS Westerdam
Aboard MS Westerdam
Aboard MS Westerdam
Glaucous-winged Gull
Juan de Fuca Strait
Common Murre
Juan de Fuca Strait
Pigeon Guillemot
Ogden Point Breakwater
Juan de Fuca Strait
Juan de Fuca Strait
Rock Pigeon
Ogden Point Breakwater
Northwestern Crow
Beacon Hill Park
Common Raven
Beacon Hill Park
Barn Swallow
Ogden Point Breakwater
American Robin
Beacon Hill Park
European Starling
Beacon Hill Park
Song Sparrow
Beacon Hill Park
House Finch
Beacon Hill Park
House Sparrow
Beacon Hill Park

Canada Goose
Tongass Narrows
White-winged Scoter
Glacier Bay
Black Scoter
Juneau Harbor
Common Merganser
Starrigavan Estuary
Pacific Loon
Glacier Bay
Common Loon
Starrigavan Estuary
Double-crested Cormorant
Chatham Strait
Pelagic Cormorant
Glacier Bay
Great Blue Heron
Juneau Harbor
Bald Eagle
Juneau Harbor
Black-legged Kittiwake
Glacier Bay
Bonaparte's Gull
Juneau Harbor
Mew Gull
Juneau Harbor
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glacier Bay
Arctic Tern
Glacier Bay
Common Murre
Glacier Bay
Pigeon Guillemot
Juneau Harbor
Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay
Rock Pigeon
Belted Kingfisher
Starrigavan Estuary
Starrigavan Estuary
Juneau Harbor
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Sitka Nat. Historical Park
Swainson's Thrush
Starrigavan Estuary
Hermit Thrush
Starrigavan Estuary
American Robin
Mt. Roberts Tramway
Varied Thrush
Mt. Roberts Tramway
Townsend's Warbler
Sitka Nat. Historical Park
Lincoln's Sparrow
Starrigavan Estuary