Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Forsythe--Barnegat 5/4--White-faced Ibis, Marsh Wren, Black-throated Blue Warbler

View from "Karmela's Kut"
I drove down to the impoundments along Bay Avenue in Barnegat to see if I could find the rare ibises reported there over the weekend when I was busy up in Jackson and Middlesex County. As soon as I arrived I saw one White-faced Ibis with my binoculars, but by the time I got my scope adjusted and set up it flew off, naturally, so the look was brief. I scanned the other ibises for a while and in the meantime heard my FOY Marsh Wren right next to me. I was joined by Karmela (who lives across the street) and while we exchanged news and views I saw another ibis with a red eyeball and pink knees. This turned out to be the "other" WFIB. It had a pink face and was probably a non-breeding adult. Good bird to see--I hadn't seen one in a couple of years, but I was able to get photos--even as close as they birds were, they were out of range for my camera.

While everyone knows Forsythe for its Brigantine (Brig) division, and many know it for the Barnegat Impoundments, the refuge is actually an archipelago of marsh and wood land extending from Galloway up into Brick Township, a distance of well over 50 miles.  There are nooks and crannies of the refuge all along Barnegat Bay. After about 50 minutes of viewing the birds in the impoundment, I drove over to Collinstown Road, which runs along another part of the refuge. Collinstown Road is my "go to" spot for our crepuscular birding when we want Chuck-will's-widow. I'd never birded it in daylight. Catbirds were noisy, which cut into my ear birding practice. The best bird I found there was my FOY Black-throated Blue Warbler high in a very large, drooping evergreen. I got excellent looks at it while it also sang, so that song is much more firmly in my memory--at least for this year.

That area has a parking lot for some of the refuge's work vehicles. I'm not an off-road enthusiast, but I have to say that this baby looks like it might be fun to drive:
Naturally, the license plate on the trailer is from Louisiana
21 species
Canada Goose  2
Mute Swan  12
American Black Duck  10
Mallard  5
Blue-winged Teal  3     Close in
Double-crested Cormorant  6
Great Egret  5
Snowy Egret  2
Tricolored Heron  2
Glossy Ibis  8
White-faced Ibis  2     
Greater Yellowlegs  15
Lesser Yellowlegs
Least Sandpiper  10
Laughing Gull  2
Forster's Tern  2
Fish Crow  1     heard
Tree Swallow  10
Marsh Wren  1     heard
Common Yellowthroat  1     heard
Red-winged Blackbird  5

Collinstown Road
17 species
Turkey Vulture  1
Laughing Gull  1     f/o
Mourning Dove  1     heard
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
White-eyed Vireo  3
Blue Jay  1
Carolina Chickadee  2     heard
White-breasted Nuthatch  1     heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  5
Wood Thrush  1     heard
American Robin  1
Gray Catbird  5
Ovenbird  2     heard
Black-throated Blue Warbler  1     
Eastern Towhee  2     heard
Chipping Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  5

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