Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | March 18, 2013

Birding with Cabin Fever (and under the weather)!

Having been stuck in the house for three loonnng days with a sinus infection and no energy. The bird bug was starting to bite pretty hard. Yard birds are great, but they only satisfy the twitching for so long.

Given that I am blessed with an AWESOME fiancé who is perfectly willing to come up with an itinerary requiring little or no effort (and willing to drive Ms. Daisy) this was the cure for the cabin fever blues!  (Thanks RF!)

Saturday’s highlights were a true “rarity roundup” that could be accomplished from the warm, comfy passenger seat of the car!

– Morris County walked into a “windfall” of Pacific Loons recently.  We went to visit the first of the vagrants discovered recently – an immature just hanging out in a corporate park lake. Seriously!

Pacific Loon in Morris Plains

As the snow began to fall lightly, we determined it was time for a chicken noodle soup break.. all this drive up birding had me a little parched too!  🙂

– With a little back and forth, the next bird we “observed” was as a result to a visit to the Monk Parakeet colony in Carteret. There are two nests located on utility poles on the intersection of Washington and High Streets. We parked under the nest that was on the side street (away from busy traffic.) and just listened. (No Monk Parakeets were seen on the wires when we went.) Within minutes, we heard the loud “throaty” screechy call.  Not the most satisfying of visits, but signs of life!

– Finally, with the snow falling (but not sticking) – on the way home was a Greater White-Fronted Goose that has been wintering at an industrial park in Piscataway. While this one required going away and coming back to the site (to give a chance for the feeding geese to move around,) we DROVE right up to this one, and given that cars make great bird blinds – got amazing views of it feeding, sitting, stretching, you name it!

GWFG in snow

And so ended a productive day of birding – with great opportunities to observe some less-than-common species all without leaving the nice warm car.  Not the most carbon-footprint friendly plan, but one that was necessary under the circumstances.

The next best thing would have been “armchair” birding…  And if that is your thing (or circumstances require it,) let me close this article with some upcoming book releases to get excited about!

  • The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors by Richard Crossley – I happen to be one of those people who considers the Crossley Guide her “go-to” field guide because I like all the different angles depicted. And given that I consider myself a Raptor “chick,” this is the best of both worlds for me.

The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors (Crossley Id Guides)

  • The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle is available for pre-order on You can have your copy delivered to you just in time for its July release!

Here is what Amazon says about the book description:

“Warblers are among the most challenging birds to identify. They exhibit an array of seasonal plumages and have distinctive yet oft-confused calls and songs. The Warbler Guide enables you to quickly identify any of the 56 species of warblers in the United States and Canada. This groundbreaking guide features more than 1,000 stunning color photos, extensive species accounts with multiple viewing angles, and an entirely new system of vocalization analysis that helps you effectively learn songs and calls.”

The Warbler Guide

  • And of course, a shout-out to our friend and birding buddy, Steve Glynn – remember to download his eBook (if you haven’t already) – Birding at 75 mph – a story of my mid-life migration.  This is a great one for birding and traveling vicariously through your reading!!!

I wish you good birding in all circumstances! 😉





  1. Of course, there’s always TV birding when you’re under the weather. Last night we got a nice view of a hawk (exact species still in debate) being shown after a commercial break of a spring training game from Arizona.

  2. HA! LOVE IT! I’m learning all the warbler calls they use on commercial soundtracks!

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