Monday, February 16, 2009

GBBC in NJ

With temperatures in the mid-40s and the sun shining brightly in the sky, it was tough to resist participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. I headed out on Sunday with the Edison Wetlands Association's Dana Patterson. We first visited the "top secret" (which is now known about by just about every birder in the tri-state area) Long-Eared Owl roost and got some great views of the two birds that were using the cedar tree.

Photograph by Bill Lynch (c) 2009

After admiring these nocturnal raptors for a short time, we moved on to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately we were unable to locate the Red-Headed Woodpecker or the Northern Shrike, but we got great views of Northern Harrier, Black and Turkey Vulture (a pair of each sitting next to each other in one of the fields), Northern Pintail, Wood Duck, and the usual smattering of adorable song birds and sparrows at the feeders. I also had the pleasure of meeting the one and only Rockey of Flickr's "Birding in the Wild" group, along with a few other fellow wildlife photographers. Check out the group here:
http://flickr.com/groups
/birdingwithrockadee/

Following a much needed lunch break, we headed to Round Valley Reservoir. The main trail was crowded with families and dogs, so it was generally quiet for most of our hike. We did end up finding a small flock of Golden-Crowned Kinglets, however, and got some fantastic views of both male and female head plumage.

Photograph by Diane Hamilton (c) 2005

The water was fairly quiet, and the Common Loon, Red-Necked Grebe, and Horned Grebe that I was lucky enough to see last week were nowhere to be found. We were able to see a trio of Buffleheads, though, and got some great views of the Eared Grebe near the boat dock before calling it a day. I was able to report a total of 31 species to the GBBC.

If you are interested in checking out the current results or submitting a list, please head over to the official Great Backyard Bird Count site at:
http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/


2 comments:

Julie said...

After admiring these nocturnal raptors for a short time,
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Jenifer said...

The main trail was crowded with families and dogs, so it was generally quiet for most of our hike.

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