Thursday, January 01, 2015

January 1 - New Year Birding of Last Year's birds

Today we went out to Long Island, starting at Lido Beach where we saw a couple of hundred Common Eider, along with 5 Harlequin Ducks as the notable species.

We next visited Jones Beach West End but found that to be quiet except for the waterfowl

We then went to see the rarities of Cassin's Kingbird at Floyd Bennet Field in Brooklyn, and made a stop for the Couch's Kingbird in Manhattan's West Village.

Finally back in New Jersey, we saw a Cackling Goose at the Ramsey Golf Course

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 27 - Couch's Kingbird in New York State

A first State-record for New York was reported this week in the form of a Couch's Kingbird.
This species is typically seen in the Rio Grande Valley region of southernmost Texas !

Even more surprising is that the bird was found in downtown Manhattan's Greenwich Village !

Here's a link to a New York Post article on the rarity

And the 10000birds page with the back-story & more photos

My favorite pic from Corey's, showing the diagnostic chin & culmen.
click to enlarge

A Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker was also present, as was a Downy Woodpecker.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 20 - Barred Owl & Red-Necked Grebe

This morning I stayed local and tried to see some Owls. I tried to see if there were any Long-Eared Owls, or perhaps a Northern Saw-Whet Owl, however I was only able to find the Barred Owl.  
Although this was very enjoyable as I had not seen one since last December 2013 !

After the Owl I decided to visit some local ponds/lakes, and was rewarded by sighting a Red-Necked Grebe on Pompton Lake.   This represents my first Red-Necked Grebe within Passaic County!


Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19 - Trumpeter Swans in New Jersey

This morning I took a ride south to Monmouth County's Assunpink Wildlife Management Area.  My purpose was to see the three Trumpeter Swans which have setup shop here for the winter...

This species has been re-introduced, and I have seen them several times before in states like Connecticut & New York, and the species is now countable in New Jersey.  So I went to take another look at them...

credit: Alan Wilson

After seeing these Swans, I then stopped at Lake Etra in Mercer County.  Recently it has been reported that a Pink-Footed Goose, along with several Greater White-Fronted Geese, and a Cackling Goose have been seen with regularity.  Well that is if you get here very early before the geese fly out to the nearby fields of corn-stubble to feed during the daytime.
I was able to see the PF Goose and three Greater White-Fronted Geese )others saw a fourth) but I did not locate a Cackling Goose.

Then it was time to head to work....

Sunday, December 07, 2014

December 7 - Monmouth County Rare Geese

We headed down to Sandy Hook this morning and found the very strong winds were keeping the birds out of view.  However, we did locate a Snowy Owl here, which was a female.

Next we headed farther south to Spring Lake's Wreck Pond for the Ross' Goose which had been reported here the past few days, as well as less than 1 hour before we arrived.  Surprisingly the Small White Goose was nowhere to be seen despite searching by many.  As we were already on borrowed time, we then started heading home going westbound on Allaire Road toward the highway.  It was then that I noticed a white goose in flight above a small horse farm.  We pulled over at the Wall Intermediate School and went over to the horse field where we saw the target birds of Ross' Goose.

credit: Alyssa Della Fave

While I was posting about the Ross' Goose being refound, one of our group  stated that he may have a Greater White-Fronted Goose in the flock, however when we all got onto that bird we realized it was a Pink-Footed Goose !  I then called friends Rob F. and Lisa F.  as they too had been over at Wreck Pond looking for the Ross' Goose.  This is the first record of Pink-Footed Goose for this year in New Jersey, so hopefully many will get to see this bird over the next few days.

credit: Alyssa Della Fave

Finally we had to get back on the road, yet we found a few minutes to stop along Randolph Road in Somerset County to get a quick glimpse of the 8 Sandhill Cranes there.

After a quiet start to our day, we made the most of the second half so it turned out to be a productive, and fun, day !

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 29 - Cassin's Kingbird in Brooklyn

Today we chased a rarity in Brooklyn's Floyd Bennet Field Park.  The species is the Cassin;s Kingbird.

click to enlarge

This rarity is a bird of the southwest, here is the Range Map.

credit: S.Dakota Birds

When we arrived we were told of the typical birder's was here 5 minutes ago....
It took us a little while to re-locate the bird, but Andy's sharp eyes found it inside the Community Gardens there, which allowed the dozen birders present to enjoy this rarity.

A detailed story from the Times Union is here

Here's a short video posted by Corey Finger to youtube 

Earlier in the morning we had been at Long Island's Jones Beach, specifically the West End where we got to see the Common Ground-Dove, as well as, some Lapland Longspurs and an American Pipit.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September 13 - Whiskered Tern at Cape May

Today I saw an extremely rare bird for North America in the Whiskered Tern

1 Cape May, CAP 12-13 Jul 1993
2 Cape May, CAP 8-12 Aug 1998