Monday, September 26, 2016

Ocean County Parks Offices 9/26--Winter Wren

Having spent the weekend birding Sandy Hook, I stayed local today because I had a late morning appointment in Toms River. I birded close-by Cattus Island CP, where I hadn't been in months, and then, having some more time, drove a mile north to bird the loop at the Ocean County Parks Offices.

It was pleasant today to just walk around and see what I could find, rather than putting a lot of pressure on myself to find more warblers than the next guy up at Sandy Hook, a losing game, guaranteed, for me. I was a little frustrated yesterday, especially when I ran into some birders I know and we all went into the Tennis Courts to find a Tennessee Warbler. Everyone saw it but me, despite all their directions about horizontal branches above fallen trunks in the sunlight. Sometimes, when I'm birding with a group of people, I feel like I'm blind. Either I can't focus quickly enough, or I don't understand the directions quickly enough, but it not only bothers me then, but festers in my mind the rest of the day and makes me wonder what I'm not seeing when I'm alone, especially after reading other's reports where 15 parulas are listed and I managed one.

So today I was delighted to find a Winter Wren in the wet woods adjacent to the parks offices. It restored just a little bit of confidence in myself as a birder. These are notoriously skulking birds, so to kick up one by myself and get a picture I consider an accomplishment. I have to admit that, while I was not finding the Tennessee Warbler yesterday, I briefly considered just giving up birding altogether. I start to question myself: After all these years, am I going to get any better at this? Am I having fun? Why do I feel compelled to find this drab little bird? Why don't I just throw these fricking binoculars into the fricking woods?

I got home early enough yesterday to watch the Mets redeem themselves after a terrible loss the night before by beating the Phillies like a rented mule, 17-0. In that vein, to make a baseball analogy, this morning I hit a solid double to the wall after being in a slump and striking out 3 times yesterday. Maybe that, as the broadcasters say, will "get me going."

In all it wasn't a bad day, though there was little warbler movement that I could see. But who know what I don't see? My day list:
(1): Cattus Island County Park
Date: Sep 26, 2016, 8:11 AM
(2): Ocean County Parks Offices
Date: Sep 26, 2016, 10:19 AM
37 species
17 Canada Goose -- (1),(2)
3 Mute Swan -- (1)
6 Great Blue Heron -- (1)
5 Great Egret -- (1)
2 Osprey -- (1)
1 Bald Eagle -- (1)
1 Red-tailed Hawk -- (1)
1 Ring-billed Gull -- (2)
7 Herring Gull -- (1),(2)
1 Black-billed Cuckoo -- (1)
1 Belted Kingfisher -- (1)
7 Red-bellied Woodpecker -- (1),(2)
5 Downy Woodpecker -- (1),(2)
6 Northern Flicker -- (1),(2)
1 Eastern Phoebe -- (1)
4 Blue Jay -- (1),(2)
1 Fish Crow -- (2)
17 Carolina Chickadee -- (1),(2)
1 Tufted Titmouse -- (1)
2 Red-breasted Nuthatch -- (1),(2)
4 House Wren -- (1),(2)
1 Winter Wren -- (2)
2 Marsh Wren -- (1)
2 Carolina Wren -- (1)
5 Eastern Bluebird -- (1)
2 American Robin -- (1)
10 Gray Catbird -- (1)
1 Brown Thrasher -- (2)
2 Palm Warbler -- (1)
1 Pine Warbler -- (1)
2 Yellow-rumped Warbler -- (1)
8 Song Sparrow -- (1)
2 Eastern Towhee -- (1)
3 Northern Cardinal -- (1),(2)
100 Common Grackle -- (1)
1 House Finch -- (1)
1 American Goldfinch -- (1)

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