Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Wrap up

Canvasbacks, Mallards, Black DuckRuddy Duck, Herring Gull, Dock St, Sands Point
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this month I really stunk up the county. I missed so many great birds this month that I started to question why I even bother going out. My dips on the Thick-billed Murre and Bohemian Waxwing have already been documented to the point of self-flagellation, but I also missed King Eider & Black-headed Gull this month, both of which Greg, whose instincts and persistence this month have been admirable, had at Manasquan Inlet mid-month.

Yesterday, while standing around parking lot A3 waiting for the Bowax to show (which it eventually did, two hours after I left), I administered a little test I give myself. It goes like this.
       Birding is supposed to be fun.
       Are you having fun?

The answer was no, standing around in the cold waiting 4 hours for some bird to show up is not fun. If there had been other birds to look at to pass the time, if the weather was pleasant, I could make a case for it. So I left, knowing, just knowing, the bird would eventually show.

February, along with July, is just about the deadest month for new birds in this area, so the 4 rarities I missed would have added a little spice to the list. As it was, I added 15 species for the year, not a lot, the most interesting ones being raptors (an owl and two hawks) plus the American Pipits I found at Sands Point, an area which bears more investigation. I made two trips there this month and I suspect it will be a productive spot next month for ducks and through the early spring when the marshes thaw for passing shorebirds. The fact that the water is kept warm from the Oyster Creek nuclear plant makes the spot one of the few places on Barnegat Bay this winter where you can find open water.

Almost every day I took a picture of a Pine Warbler, our alleged rarity, to post on eBird. Most of them were purely documentary but this one approaches being a decent photo in itself.
For the month I had 110 species, down from last month's count, but I didn't leave the state this month.
Species             First Sighting
Snow Goose     Assunpink WMA
Brant     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Canada Goose     Sunset Park
Mute Swan     Sands Point Preserve
Trumpeter Swan     Assunpink WMA
Tundra Swan     Brig
Gadwall     Forsythe--Barnegat
American Wigeon     Marshall's Pond
American Black Duck     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Mallard     Bayview Marina
Northern Pintail     Bayview Ave Park
Green-winged Teal     Brig
Canvasback     Sunset Park
Redhead     Assunpink WMA
Ring-necked Duck     Assunpink WMA
Greater Scaup     Sunset Park
Lesser Scaup     Wrangle Brook
Common Eider     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Harlequin Duck     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Surf Scoter     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
White-winged Scoter     Manasquan Inlet
Black Scoter     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Long-tailed Duck     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Bufflehead     Bayview Marina
Common Goldeneye     Sunset Park
Hooded Merganser     Bridge to Nowhere
Common Merganser     Assunpink WMA
Red-breasted Merganser     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Ruddy Duck     Eno’s Pond
Red-throated Loon     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Common Loon     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Pied-billed Grebe     Sands Point--Dock Ave
Horned Grebe     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Red-necked Grebe     Manasquan Inlet
Double-crested Cormorant     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Great Cormorant     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Great Blue Heron     Sands Point Preserve
Black-crowned Night-Heron     Bayview Ave Park
Black Vulture     Forked River
Turkey Vulture     New Egypt
Northern Harrier     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Sharp-shinned Hawk     35 Sunset Rd
Cooper's Hawk     35 Sunset Rd
Bald Eagle     Sands Point Preserve
Red-shouldered Hawk     Brig
Red-tailed Hawk     GSP MM 65.5
Rough-legged Hawk     Mercer Sod Farm IBA
American Coot     Marshall's Pond
American Oystercatcher     Brigantine Island
Black-bellied Plover     Bayview Marina
Killdeer     Sands Point Preserve
Greater Yellowlegs     Eno’s Pond
Willet     Brigantine Island
Ruddy Turnstone     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Dunlin     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Purple Sandpiper     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Bonaparte's Gull     Manasquan Inlet
Ring-billed Gull     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Herring Gull     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Great Black-backed Gull     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Rock Pigeon     Bayview Marina
Mourning Dove     35 Sunset Rd
Great Horned Owl     Bridge to Nowhere
Snowy Owl     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Belted Kingfisher     Eno’s Pond
Red-bellied Woodpecker     35 Sunset Rd
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker     Crestwood Village
Downy Woodpecker     35 Sunset Rd
Hairy Woodpecker     Brig
Northern Flicker     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Merlin     Brig
Peregrine Falcon     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Blue Jay     35 Sunset Rd
American Crow     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Fish Crow     Mercer Sod Farm IBA
Common Raven     Double Trouble State Park
Carolina Chickadee     35 Sunset Rd
Tufted Titmouse     35 Sunset Rd
White-breasted Nuthatch     35 Sunset Rd
Brown Creeper     Manasquan Reservoir IBA
Carolina Wren     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Eastern Bluebird     Brig
Hermit Thrush     Eno’s Pond
American Robin     35 Sunset Rd
Northern Mockingbird     New Egypt
European Starling     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
American Pipit     Sands Point Preserve
Cedar Waxwing     Island Beach SP
Pine Warbler     35 Sunset Rd
Yellow-rumped Warbler     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Eastern Towhee     Brig
American Tree Sparrow     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Chipping Sparrow     35 Sunset Rd
Field Sparrow     Brig
Savannah Sparrow     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Fox Sparrow     Bayview Ave Park
Song Sparrow     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Swamp Sparrow     Bridge to Nowhere
White-throated Sparrow     35 Sunset Rd
White-crowned Sparrow     Assunpink WMA
Dark-eyed Junco     35 Sunset Rd
Northern Cardinal     35 Sunset Rd
Red-winged Blackbird     Marsha Dr & Rt 72
Common Grackle     New Egypt
Boat-tailed Grackle     Great Bay Bvld.
Brown-headed Cowbird     New Egypt
House Finch     35 Sunset Rd
Common Redpoll     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
American Goldfinch     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
House Sparrow     Barnegat Lighthouse SP

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