|Great Black-backed Gulls & Royal Terns, Barnegat Light SP|
I think this may have been the first month this year that we birded entirely within New Jersey, so that just goes to show the kind of diversity of birds this little state gets. As to FOY there were only 4--obviously, as the year progresses, it gets more difficult to add new birds for the year. My count for Ocean County is up to 198, thanks to some new warbler species for me and also due to my desperation trip to Long Beach Island to finally chalk up pelicans and Royal Terns.
Many rare and/or hard to find shorebirds this month. Buff-breasted and Baird's Sandpipers on the same day and in the same scope view were obvious highlights. But to show how quickly one becomes jaded, after finding American Golden-Plovers in 3 or 4 different spots (it was a great season for that bird), I found myself saying to another birder that I'd seen enough of them and wasn't going to make the march out to the tip of Sandy Hook again to see one.
The most charming moment of the month occurred yesterday at the Officer's Club at Sandy Hook. I noticed something fluttering near my knee and assume it to be a falling leaf. But the leaf flew upward and turned out to be a Ruby-crowned Kinglet hovering around me.
|Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cattus Island County Park|
I found it interesting how the month split into two parts--the first half was concentrating on shorebirds and after a couple of weeks of intensive searching the sod farms, Whitesbog, and Brig, suddenly you didn't hear anything about sod farms or bogs and the search turned to warblers.
I've found a surprising number of warblers locally; the Pine Barrens are not noted for warbler diversity, but I had a hunch that the power line cut that runs to the south of Crestwood Village might be good in the mornings when a strong sun shines on the pines and jack oak and I wasn't wrong.
The month's list:
Atlantic, Burlington Cape May, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean