Thursday, September 18, 2014

Island Beach 9/17--Nashville Warbler

On Tuesday night there was a report of "near fallout" conditions along Reed's Road on Island Beach--many, many warbler reported. I was there on Wednesday at 8 AM, along with 7 or 8 other birders. Of course, the birds that were there on Tuesday afternoon had upped and migrated. Very little replaced them.

I was walking along with a birder I know, Skyler, and he was hearing Bobolinks. I was hearing them too, but we couldn't find them overhead. At least I was pretty certain they were Bobolinks. I'm not that experienced with their flight calls. I wasn't going to count a bird based on "plink."

The only warbler the group came across along the trail was a good one--Nashville Warbler, a year bird for me.

Skyler and I continued to a bowl within a grove of jack oak and pitch pines a little north of the road that is often a good migrant trap. Again, nothing. But we were still hearing the Bobolinks and suddenly, a flock of fifteen flew overhead. I could count them. A new Ocean County bird for me. Then, still hearing the little "plink," I looked up in the tree tops and found two more sitting there. We both thought it passing strange that Bobolinks would be up that high, but there they were. We tried another migrant trap, a little farther north, and came up with a Northern Waterthrush for our troubles. So, while it wasn't the great warbler-palooza I was hoping for, we did come up with some interesting species.
17 species
Osprey  1
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  1     Heard
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Downy Woodpecker  1     Heard
Northern Flicker  4
American Crow  1
Carolina Chickadee  1     Heard
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2     Heard
Carolina Wren  1     Heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Gray Catbird
Northern Waterthrush  2
Nashville Warbler  1
Eastern Towhee  2
Bobolink  17

Afterwards, I took myself down to Spizzle Creek, thinking that there might be some unusual species down there. I found 26 species in an hour, but  nothing to jump up and down about:
Double-crested Cormorant  10
Great Egret  6
Snowy Egret  1
Little Blue Heron  2     Green legs, gray bills.
Tricolored Heron  2
Osprey  1     Heard
Black-bellied Plover  3
Laughing Gull  2
Herring Gull  15
Caspian Tern  2
Royal Tern  5
Rock Pigeon  1
Mourning Dove  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Merlin  1
Peregrine Falcon  2
Carolina Chickadee  1     Heard
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
American Robin  1
Gray Catbird  5
Northern Mockingbird  1
Black-and-white Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  3
Boat-tailed Grackle  1
House Finch  11

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