Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Brig 1/5--Snow Goose, Tundra Swan, Tricolored Heron, Dunliln, Brown Creeper, Eastern Bluebird

Snow Geese on the frozen southwest pool
8 degrees when I rolled out of bed this morning. Not the best walking weather, so I headed down to Brig where I figured I could get some new year birds in the cozy comfort of my car. The downside of that plan was that much of the water was frozen, so waterfowl numbers were down drastically. There were "only" about 1000 Snow Geese there, all huddled on the ice in the middle of the southwest pool, probably about half of what there normally are.

This is not to say that I didn't find new and interesting birds. The rarity of the day was a lingering Tricolored Heron, not a wader you'd normally see in NJ in winter.  The Bird of the Day (unless I hear an owl in the backyard tonight) was a Purple Finch at the Experimental Pool. The favorite bird was a Brown Creeper see along the upland portion of the trail. I took a little walk along Jen's Trail (the temperature had risen to the low 20's) and it was pretty active, with Fox Sparrow being the highlight there. In all I had 37 species, not including the crow sp. that was perched a the Gull Pond but wouldn't call.
Hooded Mergansers, drake & hen
Snow Goose  1000
Canada Goose  360
Mute Swan  4
Tundra Swan  11
American Black Duck  175
Mallard  50
Bufflehead  11
Hooded Merganser  42
Great Blue Heron  1     Gull Pond
Tricolored Heron  1     south dike, near spillway
Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Harrier  1
American Coot  6     Gull Pond
Dunlin  8     North dike
Herring Gull  100
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  1     Heard
Carolina Chickadee  4     Heard
Tufted Titmouse  3
White-breasted Nuthatch  1     Heard marker 21
Brown Creeper  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1     Jen's Trail
Eastern Bluebird  1     Experimental Pool
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  25
Yellow-rumped Warbler  20
Fox Sparrow  1     Jen's Trail
White-throated Sparrow  18
Song Sparrow  1
Eastern Towhee  2     Heard, one on Jen's Trail, one on upland part of drive
Northern Cardinal  5
House Finch  1     Parking Lot
Purple Finch  1     Experimental Pool
American Goldfinch  13

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