Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pinelands Winter Survey @ Whitesbog 1/31--Great Horned Owl, Rusty Blackbird

Tundra Swans @ Whitesbog
A large swath of the Pinelands (the politically correct/real estate euphemism for the Pine Barrens) lies outside any Christmas count circles, so Jim Schill, one of the area's top notch birders, got the idea to do a mid-winter survey of most of the hot spots. Whitesbog was, of course, included, and was the only section of Ocean County included in the survey, the rest of which was in Burlington. I, Joe Yohannen, and Bernie Knaupp met just before sunrise and started looking for birds. Our first score was a Great Horned Owl calling in the village (not, technically, our area, but why stand on ceremony?) We tried for screech-owl, both in the village and out on the bogs, but none were attracted our playback.

On my last few visits to Whitesbog, birds have been scarce, so my expectations for the day were low; when we came up with Red-shouldered Hawk, Rusty Blackbird on the Ocean County side (good county bird) and a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets in a little flurry of mixed flock activity, my expectations were "met or exceeded."

For the day I had 22 species, 20 in our area and two in the village (the owl and a couple of Black Vultures Bernie and I saw while eating lunch on the General Store porch). If the idea of a survey is to find both what is and isn't around, well, now we know.
Canada Goose  5
Tundra Swan  27
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  3
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Herring Gull  125
Great Horned Owl  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  3
American Crow  2
Carolina Chickadee  5
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Eastern Bluebird  1
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  37
Chipping Sparrow  1
Swamp Sparrow  2
Rusty Blackbird  1
American Goldfinch  2

1 comment:

  1. Was wondering why you weren't at Manasquan Inlet for the Razorbill today. Here lies my answer :-)