Friday, March 31, 2017

March Birds: Going Out & Coming In

Pine Warbler, Whitesbog
March is a transitional month for birding: Last chance to get those ducks and rare gulls until late autumn while at the same time, you get the first hints of spring migration.

The warblers aren't back yet unless you count the many Pine Warblers making their presence known, but in truth, a lot of them overwinter, they're just hard to find when they don't sing. But Eastern Phoebes were suddenly everywhere (Shari & I had 6 yesterday on a short walk at the northernmost section of Forsythe in Brick), and Ospreys are sitting on their platforms. We heard our first Clapper Rail last week. Pectoral Sandpipers are showing up--early migrants--and it's good to get them on list instead of searching for them in August.

In March I was able to add 2 winter gulls (Glaucous and Iceland), one in-coming gull (Laughing) and one rarity (Black-headed). I also finally got American Pipit and Snow Buntings on the list, so I don't have to "worry" about them anymore--except I'd like to have them both for Ocean County.

Swamp Sparrow in our backyard
Chipping Sparrow was an embarrassment--I mistook a Swamp Sparrow for one because I just couldn't believe we'd have a Swamp Sparrow in our backyard. But birds have wings and can wind up just about anywhere. Now, of course, Chipping Sparrows are everywhere and will spend the rest of the spring confusing everyone when they sing--was that a Pine Warbler or a Chipping Sparrow? Throw in Worm-eating Warbler and the fun trebles.

Well-known winter hater that I am, I have to concede one benefit of winter birding now that we'll soon be shifting into warbler/vireo mode--you don't have to get up early in the winter to get the birds. Ducks and gulls don't keep early hours. The sparrows are smart--they wait for the day to warm up before they become active. But those days are over for the next few months.

For March I had 126 species, a few more than I was getting the first two months of the year. All my birding was in NJ except for one stroll through Central Park.

Counties birded:
New Jersey: Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Middlesex, Ocean
New York: New York
Species             First Sighting
Snow Goose   Brig
Brant   Spizzle Creek
Canada Goose   Manahawkin WMA
Mute Swan   Manahawkin WMA
Tundra Swan   Brig
Wood Duck   Bunker Hill Bogs
Gadwall   Forsythe-Barnegat
American Wigeon   Forsythe-Barnegat
American Black Duck   Forsythe-Barnegat
Mallard   Manahawkin WMA
Blue-winged Teal   Davies Sports Complex
Northern Shoveler   Forsythe-Barnegat
Northern Pintail   Brig
Green-winged Teal   Forsythe-Barnegat
Canvasback   Brig
Ring-necked Duck   Brig
Greater Scaup   Graveling Point
Lesser Scaup   Davies Sports Complex
Common Eider   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Harlequin Duck   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Black Scoter   Island Beach
Long-tailed Duck   Island Beach
Bufflehead   Barnegat Municipal Dock
Common Goldeneye   Colliers Mills WMA
Hooded Merganser   Manahawkin WMA
Common Merganser   Brig
Red-breasted Merganser   Barnegat Municipal Dock
Ruddy Duck   Brig
Wild Turkey   Crestwood Village
Red-throated Loon   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Common Loon   Island Beach
Pied-billed Grebe   Colliers Mills WMA
Horned Grebe   Graveling Point
Northern Gannet   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Great Cormorant   Island Beach
Double-crested Cormorant   Brig
Great Blue Heron   Manahawkin WMA
Great Egret   Brig
Snowy Egret   Holly Lake
Black Vulture   Colliers Mills WMA
Turkey Vulture   35 Sunset Rd
Osprey   Brig
Northern Harrier   Brig
Sharp-shinned Hawk   Spizzle Creek
Cooper's Hawk   Mud City
Bald Eagle   GSP MM 49.8
Red-shouldered Hawk   Whitesbog
Red-tailed Hawk   Manahawkin WMA
Clapper Rail   Brig
American Coot   Brig
American Oystercatcher   Spizzle Creek
Black-bellied Plover   Great Bay Blvd
Killdeer   Barnegat Municipal Dock
Sanderling   Villas
Dunlin   Forsythe-Barnegat
Purple Sandpiper   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Pectoral Sandpiper   Patriots County Park
Wilson's Snipe   Meadowedge Park
American Woodcock   Crestwood Village
Greater Yellowlegs   Eno’s Pond
Lesser Yellowlegs   Shelter Cove Park
Bonaparte's Gull   Cape May - Lewes Ferry Terminal
Black-headed Gull   Brig
Laughing Gull   Brig
Ring-billed Gull   Barnegat Municipal Dock
Herring Gull   Manahawkin WMA
Iceland Gull   Raritan Bay Waterfront Park
Glaucous Gull   Manasquan Inlet
Great Black-backed Gull   Barnegat Municipal Dock
Rock Pigeon   Bayview Marina
Mourning Dove   35 Sunset Rd
Belted Kingfisher   Manahawkin WMA
Red-headed Woodpecker   Colliers Mills WMA
Red-bellied Woodpecker   Manahawkin WMA
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker   Cattus Island County Park
Downy Woodpecker   Manahawkin WMA
Hairy Woodpecker   Forest Resource Education Center
Northern Flicker   Whitesbog
American Kestrel   New Egypt
Merlin   Colliers Mills WMA
Peregrine Falcon   Brig
Eastern Phoebe   Manahawkin WMA
Blue Jay   Manahawkin WMA
American Crow   Cloverdale Farm
Fish Crow   35 Sunset Rd
Common Raven   New Egypt
Tree Swallow   Wetlands Institute
Carolina Chickadee   Manahawkin WMA
Black-capped Chickadee   Central Park
Tufted Titmouse   35 Sunset Rd
Red-breasted Nuthatch   Cloverdale Farm
White-breasted Nuthatch   Manahawkin WMA
Brown Creeper   Forest Resource Education Center
Winter Wren   Forest Resource Education Center
Carolina Wren   Manahawkin WMA
Golden-crowned Kinglet   Forest Resource Education Center
Ruby-crowned Kinglet   Spizzle Creek
Eastern Bluebird   Cloverdale Farm
Hermit Thrush   White's Bogs
American Robin   Manahawkin WMA
Northern Mockingbird   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
European Starling   Barnegat Municipal Dock
American Pipit   Raritan Bay Waterfront Park
Cedar Waxwing   Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Snow Bunting   Brig
Pine Warbler   Whitesbog
Yellow-rumped Warbler   Spizzle Creek
American Tree Sparrow   Jumping Brook Preserve
Chipping Sparrow   Forest Resource Education Center
Field Sparrow   Colliers Mills WMA
Fox Sparrow   35 Sunset Rd
Dark-eyed Junco   Cloverdale Farm
White-crowned Sparrow   New Egypt
White-throated Sparrow   35 Sunset Rd
Savannah Sparrow   Brig
Song Sparrow   35 Sunset Rd
Swamp Sparrow   35 Sunset Rd
Eastern Towhee   Brig
Northern Cardinal   Cloverdale Farm
Red-winged Blackbird   Manahawkin WMA
Common Grackle   Barnegat Municipal Dock
Boat-tailed Grackle   Meadowedge Park
Brown-headed Cowbird   35 Sunset Rd
House Finch   35 Sunset Rd
American Goldfinch   35 Sunset Rd
House Sparrow   Stafford
Song Sparrow, Cattus Island CP

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