Monday, July 04, 2016

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Whole Lotta Herping Going On

Mucho snakes and turtles out and about! Red-bellied turtle: egg laying turtle Snapping turtle: Turtle momma Eastern Box turtle: eastern box turtle female Northern Water Snake: Northern water snakey Garter Snake: garter

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Ocean County Park--The Sky Has Fallen

I loathe the polyanna role but I would be remiss as a conservationist and bird-lover to say nothing about what went down today at Ocean County Park. For the past 3 years I've been going out there to check on a large Great Blue Heron rookery that occupies a corner of the park. Here's a past blog post about it. Anyway, I havent had time to check it out this spring, but today I braved the treacherous drive through Lakewood to get there. It was a portend of what was to come that I saw a turkey vulture that was feasting on a dead cat get hit by a car and killed outright. Ugh, so making my way to rookery, I noticed that the chipwood path was not maintained and full of debris. When I got to the actual ring of trees, I saw's half gone! OCP Rookery--what's left of it. Yeah some genius decided to take all the dead snags out of the center and then blaze a path through the living forest, clear to the center of the park. OCP arborcide Horrified, I looked at what was left and could only count about 12 nests, out of the 36 or more that were there last year. To make it worse, I located the bodies of a few young chicks in their wrecked nests. Wrecked heron nest Judging from the still green leaves on the branches, I'd say about 4 weeks ago, just as the chicks were hatching, one of those tree cutting machines came in and took out more than 20 trees. OCP Arborcide_2 Whether this was just carelessness or actual disdain for the place, I cannot say. The result is that a jewel of Ocean County is now a shadow of its former self, with many of the remaining birds extremely stressed and many of the healthy trees damaged. GBH Rookery OCP arborcide Never going back.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Country Hawks

Due to the cold spring our hawks out here are a few weeks behind their City cousins. That being said, hawks still gonna be hawks! jay vs rth wild hawk nest baby hawk with momma preening

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ocean County Big Count

First ever BC in OC, also corresponded to WSB so there was good reason to try to rep my section which was Lakewood, Jackson and New Egypt. Day was very birdy but conditions after lunch were not ideal. Still not bad for the first time out of the gate with this project. Great Blue Heron 3 Green Heron 1: greenheron Black Vulture 2 Turkey Vulture 20 Wood Duck 1 Mallard 20 RSH 2 at Metedeconk Preserve RTH 7 rthnest Wild Turkey 1 Killdeer 1 LAGU 1 Rock Dove 20 Mourning Dove 20 YBC 1 Chimney Swift 4 Ruby-throated hummer 1 Belted Kingfisher 1 RBWP 10 Downy 2 Northern Flicker 3 East. Peewee 2 East. Phoebe 2 East. Kingbird 2 GC Flycatcher 1 Blue Jay 20 American Crow 7 Tree Swallow 20+ at CM BCC 20+ Tufted Titmouse 20+ WBN 2 BG Gnatcatcher 20 Veery 1 Hermit thrush 1 American Robin 20+ Gray Catbird 20+ Northern Mocker 10 Brown Thrasher 1 Euro Star 20+ a note here is that they seem to be expanding quite a bit in my part of OC. They had taken over all the nest boxes that I saw at CM. Northern Parula 6 Yellow 1 Chestnut-sided Warbler 1 Cape May 1 YRW 20 BTG 1 Pine Warbler 20 Most numerous at CM, many nesting! pine warbler nesting Bay-breasted 1 Blackpoll 1 B&W 2 American Redstart 5 Overbird 20 also very numerous at CM with many singing. Scarlet tanager 2 eastern towhee 2 chipping sparrow 20+ field sparrow 5 grasshopper sparrow 2 song sparrow 2 wts 5 northern cardinal 5 rwbb 2 common grackle 20+ orchard oriole 1 baltimore oriole 2 house finch 2 goldfinch 10 house sparrow 20+