Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Day--Canvasback, Iceland Gull, Snow Bunting

Sandy Hook, New Year's Day Kick Off the Year Field Trip
The first bird of the year was an American Goldfinch at 7:26 this morning at our thistle feeder. While packing the car I heard, a jay, a crow, and a wren.

We drove over to Jackson to meet Mike and drive up to Sandy Hook for the Kick Off the Year NJ Audubon field trip. On the way a flock of geese flew over Rt 70 and at the Lakewood Wawa we had a Red-tailed Hawk in a tree. That's my Ocean County list for year, so far.

At Sandy Hook we managed most of the expected birds you'd see on the beach and in the water, with a couple of notable species being two large flocks of frolicsome Snow Buntings and an immature Iceland Gull that very accommodatingly flew north to us at Lot C after being reported down at Lot A. Iceland Gull is one of those "white-winged gulls" that birders get excited about. I'm happy to see one (this is only my 3rd one lifetime) but I'm happier to have one pointed out to me since scanning through flocks of gulls on a cold, windy beach is not something I have the patience to do.

Before we got to Sandy Hook we had stopped in Rumson at the Oceanic Bridge to scan for ducks and found a few species, but the best bird there was our first Bald Eagle of the day. Another one, later in the day at the Hook, was seen attacking a flock of gulls on the ocean. After the trip ended around 3 o'clock, the three of us drove south to Lake Takanassee where we found a drake Canvasback, a beautiful duck. Unfortunately, both our cameras had dead batteries.

The last new bird of the first day of the new year was a Great Blue Heron on Silver Lake. We scanned a flock of geese a little farther south at Lake Como and found many of the geese were banded, meaning it was a migratory flock as opposed to the year-round "giant" sub-species we usually see. We took down the band codes of 11 of them and Shari's reporting them now. I have enough compulsive lists to report and happily leave that duty to her.

I start the year with 40 species. Not as many as I'd like but on the other hand, I might not see another Iceland Gull all year, making it my Bird A Day entry (yes, I'm doing that again--see what I mean about compulsion?).
Species     Location
Brant     Sandy Hook
Canada Goose     Rt. 70
Mute Swan     Lake Takanassee
American Wigeon     Lake Takanassee
American Black Duck     Oceanic Bridge
Mallard     Lake Takanassee
Canvasback     Lake Takanassee
Surf Scoter     Sandy Hook
White-winged Scoter     Sandy Hook
Black Scoter     Sandy Hook
Long-tailed Duck     Sandy Hook
Bufflehead     Oceanic Bridge
Common Goldeneye     Sandy Hook
Hooded Merganser     Lake Takanassee
Red-breasted Merganser     Oceanic Bridge
Ruddy Duck     Oceanic Bridge
Red-throated Loon     Sandy Hook
Common Loon     Sandy Hook
Horned Grebe     Sandy Hook
Northern Gannet     Sandy Hook
Double-crested Cormorant     Sandy Hook
Great Cormorant     Sandy Hook
Great Blue Heron     Silver Lake
Turkey Vulture     Sandy Hook
Bald Eagle     Oceanic Bridge
Red-tailed Hawk     Lakewood Wawa
American Coot     Lake Takanassee
Black-bellied Plover     Sandy Hook
Ring-billed Gull     Sandy Hook
Herring Gull     Oceanic Bridge
Iceland Gull     Sandy Hook
Great Black-backed Gull     Oceanic Bridge
Rock Pigeon     Lake Takanassee
Blue Jay     35 Sunset Rd
American Crow     35 Sunset Rd
Carolina Wren     35 Sunset Rd
European Starling     Oceanic Bridge
Snow Bunting     Sandy Hook
House Finch     Sandy Hook
American Goldfinch     35 Sunset Rd

1 comment:

  1. Look at all those scopes! The goldfinches arrived at my feeder today, so they weren't first. Here that goes to black-capped....