Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Review

Spotted Sandpipers, 4/30, Double Trouble SP
It was an eventful month. A lot of unusual and/or rare birds along with the seasonal arrivals. In all I added 44 species to my year list.

I was all over the state this month, even venturing as far north as Hunterdon County, where I've never birded, in order to finally add Neotropic Cormorant to my state list (thanks Mike!).

Shari & I snuck in a detour to Carteret to add Monk Parakeets, a very entertaining half hour. The highlight rarity though had to be last weekend's Bar-tailed Godwit at Brig. Talk about being at the right place at the right time! We saw the bird about a 1/2 hour after it was first reported, thanks to wonders of text alerts. How did people find rare birds calling up once a week to a hotline? The American White Pelican and 6 American Avocets also at Brig that weekend made it the place to bird at the end of April.

It seemed, as always, that it took migration a while to get started. I think everyone anticipates it so much that feel late when it really isn't. But the warblers are back and the last couple of days I've been actively seeking and finding them. Today, the last day of the month, I had the pleasure of stumbling upon an Ocean County Louisiana Waterthrush at Double Trouble. It was on the same spillway as the two picture Spotted Sandpipers, in fast-moving water, where one should be found. I'd already done well at Double Trouble this morning, hearing Hooded Warbler and seeing my first two Yellow Warblers (as opposed to hearing them last week), when I walked out to the park's big reservoir. I was thinking it was a low percentage hike since no waterfowl would be on the water, so seeing the two sandpipers was a treat. Then I saw another bird bobbing it's tail and it was no sandpiper--too small, stripes on it flanks, clear through...I had the elusive warbler, reinforcing my theory that  you will not find the bird until you have truly given up. Greg had this bird last week in a different spot and I figured it was long gone by today, so I had no expectations of finding it.

Our backyard has seen the return of a few of our favorites--a hen Wild Turkey makes a daily visit, at least one Ruby-throated Hummingbird is partaking of Shari's sugar water, and the Eastern Whip-poor-will is nightly (and early morning) feature of the season. There are actually a number of whip-poor-wills in the neighborhood and when 2 or 3 of them start sounding off it is quite amazing.

I got into "the city" twice this month and was able to finally see a Chuck-will's-widow, as well as add Black-and-white Warbler and Blue-headed Vireo (both in Central Park) to the year list.

In all I listed 154 species for the month, by far the most species this year. May, with a trip to Ohio, has a good chance of surpassing that number. I'll start trying early tomorrow morning. In the meantime, here's last month's list:
Counties birded:
New Jersey: Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean
New York: New York
Species                     Location
Greater White-fronted Goose     Mercer Corporate Park
Brant     Brig
Canada Goose     Whitesbog
Mute Swan     Brig
Tundra Swan     Whitesbog
Wood Duck     Whitesbog
Gadwall     Brig
Eurasian Wigeon     Brig
American Wigeon     Brig
American Black Duck     Whitesbog
Mallard     Whitesbog
Blue-winged Teal     Brig
Northern Shoveler     Brig
Northern Pintail     Brig
Green-winged Teal     Whitesbog
Ring-necked Duck     Whitesbog
Greater Scaup     Great Bay Blvd
Bufflehead     Butterfly Bogs
Hooded Merganser     Whitesbog
Red-breasted Merganser     Brig
Ruddy Duck     Manasquan Reservoir IBA
Wild Turkey     White House
Red-throated Loon     Sunset Beach/Concrete Ship
Common Loon     Spruce Run Reservoir
Pied-billed Grebe     Brig
Horned Grebe     Manasquan Reservoir IBA
Northern Gannet     East Point Lighthouse
Neotropic Cormorant     Demott Pond
Double-crested Cormorant     Clinton
American White Pelican     Brig
American Bittern     Whitesbog
Great Blue Heron     Bunker Hill Bogs
Great Egret     Butterfly Bogs
Snowy Egret     Brig
Little Blue Heron     Island Beach SP
Tricolored Heron     Cattus Island County Park
Cattle Egret     Meadowedge Park
Glossy Ibis     Brig
Black Vulture     FREC
Turkey Vulture     Whitesbog
Osprey     Whitesbog
Northern Harrier     Whitesbog
Sharp-shinned Hawk     Colliers Mills WMA
Cooper's Hawk     Whitesbog
Bald Eagle     35 Sunset Rd
Red-shouldered Hawk     Spruce Run Reservoir
Broad-winged Hawk     Belleplain State Forest
Red-tailed Hawk     35 Sunset Rd
Clapper Rail     Heislerville WMA
American Avocet     Brig
American Oystercatcher     Great Bay Blvd
Black-bellied Plover     Great Bay Blvd
Semipalmated Plover     Heislerville WMA
Killdeer     Bunker Hill Bogs
Spotted Sandpiper     Colliers Mills WMA
Greater Yellowlegs     Brig
Willet     Great Bay Blvd
Lesser Yellowlegs     Heislerville WMA
Whimbrel     Brig
Bar-tailed Godwit     Brig
Sanderling     Norbury's Landing
Dunlin     Great Bay Blvd
Least Sandpiper     Brig
Semipalmated Sandpiper     Brig
Short-billed Dowitcher     Brig
Bonaparte's Gull     Manasquan Reservoir IBA
Laughing Gull     Brick
Ring-billed Gull     Spruce Run Reservoir
Herring Gull     Spruce Run Reservoir
Lesser Black-backed Gull     Spruce Run Reservoir
Glaucous Gull     Brig
Great Black-backed Gull     Cattus Island County Park
Caspian Tern     Brig
Forster's Tern     Great Bay Blvd
Rock Pigeon     Carteret
Mourning Dove     35 Sunset Rd
Chuck-will's-widow     Bryant Park
Eastern Whip-poor-will     35 Sunset Rd
Chimney Swift     Brig
Ruby-throated Hummingbird     35 Sunset Rd
Belted Kingfisher     Spruce Run Reservoir
Red-bellied Woodpecker     35 Sunset Rd
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker     Central Park
Downy Woodpecker     Whitesbog
Hairy Woodpecker     Double Trouble State Park
Northern Flicker     Whitesbog
American Kestrel     Whitesbog
Merlin     Brig
Peregrine Falcon     Brig
Monk Parakeet     Carteret
Eastern Phoebe     Whitesbog
Eastern Kingbird     Double Trouble State Park
White-eyed Vireo     Brig
Blue-headed Vireo     Central Park
Blue Jay     Double Trouble State Park
American Crow     Whitesbog
Fish Crow     Whitesbog
Common Raven     E. Colliers Mills Rd
Northern Rough-winged Swallow     Cattus Island County Park
Purple Martin     Brig
Tree Swallow     Whitesbog
Barn Swallow     Great Bay Blvd
Carolina Chickadee     Whitesbog
Black-capped Chickadee     Demott Pond
Tufted Titmouse     35 Sunset Rd
Red-breasted Nuthatch     35 Sunset Rd
White-breasted Nuthatch     Whitesbog
House Wren     Norbury's Landing
Carolina Wren     35 Sunset Rd
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     Spruce Run Reservoir
Golden-crowned Kinglet     Whitesbog
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     Double Trouble State Park
Eastern Bluebird     Spruce Run Reservoir
Hermit Thrush     Cattus Island County Park
Wood Thrush     Belleplain State Forest
American Robin     Whitesbog
Gray Catbird     Brig
Brown Thrasher     Cox Hall Creek WMA
Northern Mockingbird     Whitesbog
European Starling     35 Sunset Rd
Ovenbird     Belleplain State Forest
Worm-eating Warbler     Evert Memorial Nature Trail
Louisiana Waterthrush     Belleplain State Forest
Black-and-white Warbler     Central Park
Prothonotary Warbler     Belleplain State Forest
Common Yellowthroat     Brig
Hooded Warbler    Evert Memorial Nature Trail
Yellow Warbler     Belleplain State Forest
Palm Warbler     Colliers Mills WMA
Pine Warbler     Whitesbog
Yellow-rumped Warbler     Whitesbog
Yellow-throated Warbler     Belleplain State Forest
Prairie Warbler     Heislerville WMA
Eastern Towhee     Double Trouble State Park
Chipping Sparrow     35 Sunset Rd
Field Sparrow     Brig
Savannah Sparrow     Cattus Island County Park
Fox Sparrow     Whitesbog
Song Sparrow     Whitesbog
Swamp Sparrow     Whitesbog
White-throated Sparrow     35 Sunset Rd
Dark-eyed Junco     Whitesbog
Northern Cardinal     Whitesbog
Red-winged Blackbird     Whitesbog
Rusty Blackbird     Whitesbog
Common Grackle     Whitesbog
Boat-tailed Grackle     Great Bay Blvd
Brown-headed Cowbird     35 Sunset Rd
House Finch     35 Sunset Rd
Purple Finch     35 Sunset Rd
Pine Siskin     35 Sunset Rd
American Goldfinch     35 Sunset Rd
House Sparrow     Clinton
Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-wing Swallow squabbling at Whitesbog

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