Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | November 29, 2011

Avian Visitors for the Holiday Weekend

Birders had many reasons to be thankful this week – unseasonably warm weather and some western visitors and rarities abound.

RF and I did some awesome birding all over the state and even across the border too (NJ Border that is)!

We started with a Thanksgiving day journey up north at Oradell Reservoir and Darlington Lake in Bergen County for a plethora of  waterfowl and beautiful close flyover juvie Eagle. A female Eurasian Wigeon continues at Darlington, and is possibly the same bird that visited last winter.

Friday’s visit to Sandy Hook gave great looks at snow bunting in the dunes, a drake Common Eider, White-Winged Scoter, Loons, and the usual passerines.

Saturday was “chase day” in P-A 🙂     A continuing Green-Tailed Towhee has been hanging out at Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County, PA. Unfortunately, the skulky little guy didn’t afford good enough poses for photos, but it was a beautiful bird, nonetheless.

Meanwhile, reports of my nemesis Ash-Throated Flycatcher were popping up all over NJ – with a possible minimum of 4 birds in the state (2 in Cape May Cty, 1 at Barnegat Light and 1 wayward guy in the Ramapo Mountains.)  (I’ll get you my pretty!!!!)

Sunday, we tried for the Ash-Throated and a continuing Western Tanager at Barnegat Light. Of course, no luck with the *&^%$& Ash-Throated, but we did manage great looks at the Western Tanager.

Additionally, we walked to the beginning of the Jetty and had tremendous looks at a Parasitic Jaeger sitting on the water in the inlet while Bonaparte’s Gulls performed acrobatics behind boat wakes.

Before returning north, we managed a stopover at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater, Somerset County where a huge flock of Canada Geese produced a cackler and Greater White Fronted Goose.

Greater White-Fronted Goose (on the right)

In a year filled with rarities and record-breaking numbers, this beginner’s stats are pretty impressive (Life: 321 /  NJ Life: 302 / NJ Year: 298) But then again, I guess that’s what happens when you bird with one of the best (Thanks RF!)

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