Friday, May 1, 2015

Colliers Mills WMA 5/1--Great Crested Flycatcher

There was a good report from Greg yesterday about Colliers Mills--lots of warblers in the woods. I planned to go there anyway today, so it was with anticipation that I arrived at 6:13 AM, a little after dawn. Unfortunately, a lot of the birds seemed to have moved on, and although I did pretty well, I wasn't able to find any new warblers for the year. Ovenbirds and Common Yellowthroats were the predominant warblers--they were everywhere I walked and I walked well over 3 miles.

I walked all around Turnmill Pond, concentrating on the hillside where Greg found most of his birds, but it was cooler than yesterday morning so no bugs were out and hence, fewer birds. It wasn't until I started looking at Colliers Mills Lake that I found anything that interested me. I have an algorithm for birding the WMA: if there are Wood Ducks in the back of the lake, then I don't have to walk past the power line cut. If there are no Wood Ducks, proceed to first bog on the left after the cut. If there are no Wood Ducks there, continue to 2nd bog. If there are no Wood Ducks there, give up--no sense making a fool of yourself.

Scanning the north end of the lake I saw a couple of Mallards and smaller ducks that might be Woodies, but it was hard to tell from the distance. I had an instinct they weren't and were something more unusual for the lake, so I continued on the winding paths to the back of the lake and there, to happy surprise, were a drake & hen Blue-winged Teal, not a year bird but a long-sought county bird.

Since those weren't Wood Ducks, I proceeded to walk the path to the cut and beyond. No woodies at the first bog. The 2nd bog has been reliable all year and there were 4 ducks in the bog, along with a lonesome goose. The Wood Ducks always manage to stay as far away from you as possible but I was able to snag one decent photo:
I had by this time given up on finding anything FOY, so naturally, on my way back, just before crossing over from one trail to one that runs south along the lake, I heard the "song" that I think of as the alarm on a fire door, "wheep, wheep, wheep"--the dulcet tones of a Great Crested Flycatcher. I might even have seen it fly, but I  heard it multiple times and there is no mistaking that noise.

I would have liked more new birds, warblers and vireos especially, but they'll come. Whether they'll be in Ocean County is another story.
40 species
Canada Goose  8
Wood Duck  4     
Mallard  2     North end of Colliers Mills Lake
Blue-winged Teal  2     
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture  2
Mourning Dove  5
Red-bellied Woodpecker  4     Heard
Downy Woodpecker  1     Heard
Northern Flicker  2     Heard
Great Crested Flycatcher  1   Heard  
Eastern Kingbird  1
White-eyed Vireo  2
Blue Jay  6
American Crow  1
Fish Crow  1
Tree Swallow  10
Barn Swallow  2
Carolina Chickadee  5
Tufted Titmouse  4
White-breasted Nuthatch  3
House Wren  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  10
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
American Robin  10
Gray Catbird  5
Ovenbird  15     Heard
Black-and-white Warbler  5
Common Yellowthroat  15
Yellow Warbler
Palm Warbler  2
Pine Warbler  4
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Prairie Warbler  5
Eastern Towhee  10
Chipping Sparrow  25
White-throated Sparrow  10
Northern Cardinal  5
Red-winged Blackbird  25
Brown-headed Cowbird  20

1 comment:

  1. Very handsome crisp photos .... love your new camera!