Friday, April 22, 2016

Bunker Hill Bogs 4/22--Green Heron, White-eyed Vireo, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat

Sometimes an easy bird eludes me and even though I know I'll see the bird eventually, I want to see it now. In this case it is Gray Catbird, which I've actually seen a couple of times this year, but not lately and not in Ocean County. When the catbirds do come in, they'll be ubiquitous, but right now I can't find one. I looked at my records from last year and Bunker Hill Bogs was a place where last spring I listed 30 catbirds, so there I went this morning. In the back of my mind there were a couple of other birds that might be there, but catbird was the goal.

(Once, in Prospect Park, in summer, I said to the guy I was birding with that I was thoroughly sick of catbirds. He replied that "soon they'll be gone and you'll miss them." He was right.)

I never found a catbird today, not at Bunker Hill and not at FREC. However, within 5 minutes of my arrival, standing on the viewing platform, I did see my first Green Heron of the year, followed quickly by a sighting of two of them flying over the bogs. That was one of the birds in the back of my mind.

I was hoping that some warblers might have arrived and in that regard I was successful--a 6 warbler day, including good looks at Black-and-white Warbler (heard only, heretofore), my first Common Yellowthroats, and a couple of singing (though not seen) Ovenbirds. I wish I could get pictures of some of these flitting birds, but my camera seems to focus on the twigs they're behind, not the bird itself.

While walking out to one of the cross-dikes I heard a familiar song. "Sounds like a Rufous-browed Peppershrike," I joked to myself (yes, I tell myself jokes). It was, of course, a White-eyed Vireo, whose song I referred to when we first heard the peppershrike (in the vireo family) on Trinidad.

The Wood Ducks were in the back bog, as they almost always are, a Great Egret was seen there too, a Brown Thrasher subbed in for the absent catbirds and in all I had 33 species.

Canada Goose  11
Wood Duck  6
American Black Duck  5
Mallard  5
Wild Turkey  1
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  1
Green Heron  2
Turkey Vulture  2
Mourning Dove  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2     Heard
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
White-eyed Vireo  1
Blue Jay  2
Tree Swallow  10
Carolina Chickadee  5
Tufted Titmouse  3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  10
Brown Thrasher  1
Ovenbird  2     Heard
Black-and-white Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  4
Palm Warbler  2
Pine Warbler  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  5
Song Sparrow  2
Swamp Sparrow  1
Eastern Towhee  10
Northern Cardinal  2     Heard
Red-winged Blackbird  25
Common Grackle  4
American Goldfinch  1     Heard

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