Friday, March 17, 2017

Manasquan Inlet 3/17--Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull
Photo: Mike Mandracchia
Mike & I planned to start our birding day in Pt. Pleasant Beach to look for white-winged gulls and then see where the rest of the day led us. It led us to an inadvertent big day in Ocean County, where we hit 14 locations (and left out some big ones, like Island Beach, LBI, Colliers Mills...). But the highlight of the day, I guess for both of us, came early on the jetty at Manasquan Inlet where, from a mixed gull flock Mike manage to winkle out our FOY Glaucous Gull (a white-winged gull, though "glaucous" means gray [glaucoma comes from the same root] and it really is a very pale gray). It started out on the beach and then we followed it into the surf. Always good to get a year bird, but especially good (for me) to get it in Ocean County and very special (for me) because it is also a county bird lifer. (There are probably only a very few obsessives reading this who will understand why this is such an event.)

It was a lot colder than we needed it to be for mid-March with a biting wind, but we managed to stick it out long enough for Mike to get his FOY Razorbill flying along the horizon. I was never able to get on the bird, but that was all right--I already sighted this species last month, on the same jetty.

We hit a few more spots in PPB then, looking for someplace out of the wind, decided that the roads through the Manahawkin marshes might be protected. By the time we got down there it had warmed up enough to bird comfortably and we found a lot of land birds in the trees and on the sides of the roads. The best sightings there were when we flushed an American Woodcock from the marsh and when, as Mike was pointing out where a Red-tailed Hawk was sitting in a dead tree, another Red-tail flew in and...well, there is a book called Red-tails in Love.

After lunch we drove up to Barnegat, found decent duckage plus a Horned Grebe off the Municipal Dock and then looked into the impoundments on Bayshore where there was surprisingly little, though we did add Green-winged Teal and Gadwall to the list.

We figured we might as well keep looking for ducks, there won't be many left in a few weeks, so we headed up to Toms River where we managed to find one hen Canvasback in the river and 6 Wood Ducks along with a couple of Ring-neck Ducks at Marshall's Pond.

Our last stop was at FREC, again looking for land birds and we did pretty well, adding Eastern Bluebird, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Dark-eyed Juncos (how did we go a whole day without seeing juncos?), as well as flushing another woodcock. Amazingly, we had no goldfinches the whole day.

My list shows 71 species, Mike had, I think, 3 more. Considering we thought 60 would be a respectable number, we were very happy with our day.

Locations:   Barnegat Municipal Dock; Barnegat--Bayshore Dr; Beach Ave; Edwin B. Forsythe NWR--Barnegat; Field next to Lakewood Wawa; Forest Resource Education Center; Lake of the Lilies; Little Silver Lake; Manahawkin WMA; Manasquan Inlet; Marshall's Pond; Mathis Veteran's Memorial Park; Mud City; Point Pleasant Beach-Baltimore Ave 

60 Brant
28 Canada Goose
18 Mute Swan
6 Wood Duck)
4 Gadwall
2 American Wigeon
14 American Black Duck
36 Mallard
2 Northern Shoveler
15 Green-winged Teal
1 Canvasback
2 Ring-necked Duck
11 Greater Scaup
30 Lesser Scaup
1 Black Scoter
4 Long-tailed Duck
33 Bufflehead
16 Hooded Merganser
30 Red-breasted Merganser
200 Ruddy Duck
36 Common Loon
1 Pied-billed Grebe
1 Horned Grebe
1 Northern Gannet
3 Double-crested Cormorant
5 Great Blue Heron
1 Black Vulture
5 Turkey Vulture
1 Cooper's Hawk
1 Bald Eagle
2 Red-tailed Hawk
20 American Coot
2 American Oystercatcher
25 Killdeer
6 Sanderling
X Purple Sandpiper
2 American Woodcock
75 Ring-billed Gull
280 Herring Gull
1 Glaucous Gull
63 Great Black-backed Gull
2 Rock Pigeon
7 Mourning Dove
3 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 Blue Jay
1 American Crow
31 Fish Crow
16 Carolina Chickadee
7 Tufted Titmouse
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
5 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Carolina Wren
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Eastern Bluebird
1 Hermit Thrush
36 American Robin
1 Northern Mockingbird
52 European Starling
1 Fox Sparrow
11 Dark-eyed Junco
1 White-throated Sparrow
4 Song Sparrow
2 Swamp Sparrow
4 Northern Cardinal
1 Red-winged Blackbird
35 Common Grackle
1 Boat-tailed Grackle
3 House Sparrow 

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