Friday, October 07, 2016

Fall Birds

Getting some great looks recently. Gorgeous Eastern Bluebird. Bluebird Melodic Carolina Wren. carolina wren Shy field sparrow. Field Sparrow Look out everybody, thess guys are around too! merlin Hawky

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Meadow Soprano

Bald Eagles successfully nest in NYC in over 100 years. This is the female, who Im calling Meadow Soprano, and also the largest eagle I've ever seen. Easy 7 feet wingspan...if you dont believe me, head over to Mt. Loretto! Meadow Soprano Apparently there is a second smaller eaglet too.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Waretown Mississippi Kites

Although confirmed this year, they have probably been nesting in NJ for a few season now. In any case, this was my first successful trip to see these normally southern nesters in Waretown, NJ. Incredible birds! Mississippi Kite Mississippi Kite Mississippi Kite vs Broad-winged Hawk Mississippi Kite with Cicada

Monday, August 01, 2016

Summer Birds (Mostly)

Lots of heat and lots of ticks mean less time in the woods this time of year. Here's a collection of my recent trips over the past month. Martins Goldy Chipper Bath 2 gen woodducks Common Tern black swallowtail

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+

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

List of Raptor Nest cams 2016

For those of you that cant get out as much as you'd like, here's a list of different cams (some in NJ, some not) that you can live vicariously through. Island Beach State Park Osprey, Duke Farm Eagle Cam, Idaho kestrel cam, NYC peregrine falcons, Cornell U red-tailed hawk cam.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mercer County Heron Rookery

A work friend of mine told me about some herons carrying sticks around in his backyard. Turns out he's got a mature rookery of about 2 dozen nests there! Heron Rookery Heron Rookery Heron Rookery

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Riverside Church

For the past 3 years a red-tailed hawk and a peregrine falcon have nested within 100 yards of each other in Riverside Park. Good luck to them both, hopefully they can both succeed! Grant's Tomb Riverside Church

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Square One

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. paleness

Monday, February 01, 2016

Manasquan Reservoir

Havent been to this location since the summer and thankfully the water levels are back to normal. Also back to normal are the resident bald eagles who seem to be working on one of their old nests. I had 7 bald eagles on the day including a group of 3 juveniles bathing.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Barnegat Light

Just a beautiful morning there today. Birding began on the drive out with 2 adult peregrines on the Surf City water tower. Surf City Peregrines While there the police chief shared that they have been nesting there for the past 7 years. Closeup photos revealed both birds are banded with DEP tags. Also saw a cool territory defense and "eechuk" calls when a Cooper's flew past. Further down I had an additional 2 peregrines on the Barnegat Light water tower. These two were definitely not the same birds as they both had empty crops and were untagged as far as I could see. Barnegat Peregrines Due to high winds I birded the trails first as the day warmed up. I had 2 yellow-rumped warblers and this Cooper's hawk lurking in the scrub. Hidden Sharpie While there I met two women who were there to see the Harlequin ducks. One of them was a bit older and it would be a lifer for her. So I shepherded them to the jetty and lo and behold a lone harlequin male had made his way toward them, saving her the treacherous journey! Here's a pic of them out on the jetty after. Harlequins Along the way I had many common loons, gulls of intermediate plumage, 3 harriers across the bay in Island beach and 2 what I think are red-breasted merganser females. Mergansers Also ran into a guy who said he had a harbor seal feeding along the jetty. At the tip were large rafts of ducks shifting about. Black scoter, Black Scoter surf scoter, Surf Scoter long-tailed ducks, Long-tailed Duck 2 red-throated loon and 2 common eider! Driving back along route 9 I stopped in Tom's River and found the usual raft of about 25 canvasbacks along with about 50 ring-necked ducks. Canvasback There were also about 100 mallards and 12 bufflehead.