Monday, March 10, 2014

Whitesbog 3/10--Common Raven

Wigeons, pintails and geese. 
All the water at Whitesbog is open (except, surprisingly, for a large portion of the Upper Reservoir) and the waterfowl are making the most of it. Besides the many Canada Geese, there are still good numbers of Tundra Swans (I counted 55 altogether on various bogs) plus 8 species of ducks: Wood Duck, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Mergansers, and a couple of Buffleheads
I flushed a woodcock by the stream between the first house on the right as you go out to the bogs and boardwalk trail. Late last month I had 3 woodcocks in the same area, so this seems to be a good spot to hunt for these elusive little "shorebirds." 

The highlight for me was when I heard a horrible croaking sound and wondered what it was. Looking up I saw a huge corvid fly was almost the size of a Turkey Vulture. It landed for a moment on the water tower than flew off, croaking again, toward Fort Dix: my first Common Raven of the year and in fact, for quite a while.  Ravens are a rarity in this part of NJ; a hundred and fifty years a go they use to nest near the shore. Of late, there have been increasing sightings, though this one seems to be only the 2nd report this year for Burlington County.
Way, way back on the bogs (Ocean County)
For my 4  mile circuit of the bogs, which took me all the way back into Ocean County and out again, I had 34 species.
Canada Goose  155
Tundra Swan  55
Wood Duck  1    marshy area of Union Pond
American Wigeon  5
American Black Duck  8
Mallard  25
Northern Pintail  40
Ring-necked Duck  34
Bufflehead  2
Hooded Merganser  5
Turkey Vulture  4
American Woodcock  1
Mourning Dove  5
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1    Heard, village
Northern Flicker  1
Blue Jay  1    Heard
American Crow  2    Heard
Common Raven  1    
Tree Swallow  1
Carolina Chickadee  1
Tufted Titmouse  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1    Heard
Carolina Wren  1    Heard
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  25
European Starling  10
Song Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  5
Northern Cardinal  2    Village, singing.
Red-winged Blackbird  2
Common Grackle  15
Brown-headed Cowbird  4

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