Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bamber Lake 1/6--Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (immature)
A very cold morning but practically windless, so not as bad as the single digit on thermometer would indicate.  However, I did want someplace with open water, so I drove over to the Ocean County Parks offices which are part of Cattus Island and have 3 habitats--bay, marsh, and woodlands. I saw the usual species there, but nothing new for the year or even the county. After doing the loop, I still wanted more birds, so I decided to see if Bamber Lake had any Tundra Swans on it.

Bamber Lake occasionally attracts some waterfowl in the winter and because it is formed from damming part of Cedar Creek, its water moves so it doesn't all freeze over that quickly. It looked pretty bleak when I first got there, but I heard the swans and then, scanning, found them on the far side of the lake with Canada Geese. I walked up Good Luck Road to get a better look at them and turned up some passerines along the way. The best was an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, the only  year bird of the day. I heard it hammering while looking at a mixed flock of chickadees, siskins, and finches and was surprised I found it so quickly. I can go long intervals between sapsuckers, so it is the Bird of the Day.
Tundra swans and Canada Geese.

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